Wednesdays with the Arts: Indie Life—the Art of Editing

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You’ll probably remember that I said make love, not war, with edits. Today, as part of the month long writing focus and the Indie Life blog hop, I’m talking about part of my editing process.

Step 1: The first draft is done and now it’s a read through from start to finish for me. Here is where I clean up dialogue if it’s a little off for the character’s voice. I notice missing words, things like that.

Step 2: On the second read through I’m looking for consistency. If I missed it the first time around here is where I look specifically for things like was my leading man or woman’s eyes blue in one section and green in another? I try to look for this when I’m on step 2 of edits because I may have missed something on the first read through because I was looking at edits for a different focus.

Men of Action series book, Hiking for Danger cover.Step 3: Fact checking. I love to research some things so that part is fun for me. Sometimes I have loads of research saved in files, but clearly I’m not writing a text book so what I’ve found doesn’t all go into the fictional realm. Like when I did the research for Hiking for Danger I got confirmation that there are more bugs on this planet than humans. If they ever go to war with us we are so soon to be dead.

I work with a lot of fiction so reality does not always stay true to the fictional story. In the MOA series there is a bit of fiction that doesn’t fit with fact. I can’t say if it’s still the same way because I didn’t research it. But back when my uncles went into the military my one uncle who really wanted to go into the Army couldn’t because my other uncle was in. Back then (and maybe now too) they would not take two brothers from the same family into the same branch. My uncle had to go Air Force, but the second my Army uncle was out my Air Force uncle made a straight line for the Army because that’s where he wanted to be.

Secrets and Lies cover to useIn the MOA series you’ll probably note that Gavin McGregor had been a Marine and Thomas McGregor had as well. The timeline for them would have put them both in the Marines at the same time for a brief time. I am not so sure that could happen at all in real life. But this is fiction, and my fictional world on top of that, so I wanted two Marines…who doesn’t ;).

These are just a few parts of my editing process. I tend to do about five rounds of edits looking at different things. I find it helps me to focus on individual things through each edit as opposed to trying to find every flaw the first go around.

Today’s post was part of the series I’m doing this month along with the Indie Life Blog Hop. Please click on the picture below and head over to find out what the other Indie Lifers are up to.

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