I thought I'd give you a peek into my editing process. When I finished writing On Jacaranda Street in December 2021, I left it alone for over a month - didn't so much as read a sentence. I wanted to create distance between me and the characters who'd lived in my head for seven months. So, I edited another person's novel and was a judge in an American writing contest before picking up the editing red pen in late January 2022.
The first thing I do is read the novel. I don't take any notes; I'm merely reading. I then spend a few days digesting it all. I might make some notes on my phone or in a journal. You know how the mind works - you think, 'hang on, that didn't quite make sense," or "the ending isn't as good as I'd hoped," or "I could do with more dialogue in chapter 3." I jot down ideas, notes, questions.
While I write the first draft of a novel, I keep a very detailed style sheet, so I know I'm not going to run into the issue of a character who had blue eyes on p.10 suddenly having hazel eyes on p.111. So, the next step is to start the substantive edit. Some editors call this a developmental or structural edit, but this stage involves looking at characterisation, point of view and whether there's any head-hopping, plot or logic issues, pacing and tension. This is the hard work, and you're looking at the big picture stuff. I'm pleased to say that after three editing rounds, On Jacaranda Street is down from 134,000+ words to 115, 349. Nearly 20k slashed. I was ruthless and killed off a few darlings, as they say. I then had Word read the novel to me - you always pick something up when it's read to you. You can hear if the rhythm is a bit clunky or a word is jarring.
I'm now at the copy edit stage (having done the line editing after the sub edit) and this means I'm checking grammar, spelling, punctuation, fact-checking, polishing sentences further if necessary, and so on.
I'll write the back cover book description in the next week or so. March 26 is the proposed release day, and I already have my ISBN. Exciting!!