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Karen Bayly

Author and Copywriter

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Author Question: What’s your editing process?

My editing process is constantly evolving. At a high level, I follow the “Write your book four times” rule outlined in the article here. As the author notes, this is tedious and tiring. But it works. By the time you’ve finished, your manuscript should be a finely-crafted work of art.

Also, I was lucky enough to snag a super-cheap lifetime subscription to ProWritingAid (and no, I do not get any money if you click through). While I do not regard this as the definitive guide, it is a great at getting me to rethink my writing.

The best part is that it has taught me to “chunk down” my editing by concentrating on one thing per session, e.g. sticky sentences or overused words or echoes, etc. It can take 2 or more hours to hone a single chapter. So being able to break the process down into small chunks means it is much easier to edit on days when I’m working the day job and don’t have a lot of spare time.

I wish I knew what I know now when I edited Fortitude. Despite spending over a thousand dollars on structural and copy edits, and getting input from beta readers, most of whom were authors, I still find mistakes - and not just typos (the bane of many a published work). I see whole sections that I would dearly love to rewrite. Aargh! However, I doubt I’m the first writer to say that about their novel.

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