Friday, April 8, 2011


So, the first round of edits have been completed.  These were called the pre-edits.  Basically, I went through the whole manuscript and looked for the following:
  • overuse of the character's names in dialogue or narrative.  Excessive pronouns, too
  • removed words like very, really, smiled, turned and grinned.  To do this I use the "find" feature in Word.
  • I was reminded that words cannot be growled, hissed, or any other animalistic sound, unless alliteration allows it.  (found a couple!)
  • no head hopping.  Only one POV per scene
  • I checked for and removed excessive adverbs ending in LY
  • I removed all cuss words except for hell and damned in their intended forms.  My publisher wants to be able to market to all age groups and I agreed to this condition in my contract.  Plus, as I write for young adult anyway, I had only one or two places where I could find alternative wording.
The rest of my editing was grammatical in nature.  I spelled out chapter numbers, made only one space after periods (I did this with the "find and replace" feature also), and indicated scene breaks with only three asterisks, not my standard million of them. :-)

I think the above list is a great place to start when you are looking to generally edit yourself.  I know I learned a lot I will remember going forward.  I'm sure I'll learn to hate editing, but since it was for my first book, I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  (almost put a really in there, then backspaced and deleted it.  Old habits die hard.)


  1. Thanks so much for sharing Samantha!! Knowledge is power and it's sp great to get an insiders perspective! Very helpful! Love your blog!

  2. Welcome CJ. I'm glad you like the info. i find the blogs I like the most teach me something, not just meander on about their's dog's vet appt. or something. So I'm trying to write what I like to read. Thanks for stopping by!