Monday, September 18, 2017

Lisa Hill: The Editing Process

Visit the RNA Facebook group or browse on social media and one of the most talked about topics amongst writers is – editing! We all have our favourite ways to write and edit our work and it can be interesting to find other views and perhaps use a snippet or two to help with our own writing. Today on the RNA blog we welcome author, Lisa Hill. Here Lisa explains her experiences with the editing process. Welcome, Lisa.

For those of you who know me, you’ll know I’ve not long graduated from the NWS. I was a member
of the scheme from 2010 – 2016 and in that time benefited from some thorough reports full of useful advice. What they didn’t contain, however, is a hand to hold with my downfall; the editing process. Having undergone the process with a professional editor in the past year, I thought it would be helpful to give those, like me, who struggle with editing an insight into perfecting your manuscript:

1. Take yourself out of the manuscript
Your first draft is your creation. It’s where you get to have all the conversations you want your characters to have with each other, let them go off on their adventures, really let your imagination flow. Now it’s time to get a grip on reality and that inevitably means getting tough. You might have the funniest scene which you absolutely love but if it has no relevance to moving the story forward, do you really need it?

2. Start a Novel Log
For me, a novel log was a revelation and I actually started using one from the beginning in my latest novel. Using a log you can diarise what’s happening in your novel and it’s so useful to refer back to. I use a page for each of the following:
·      Main Characters, including mini-bios of their age, appearance, main motivation etc.
·      Cast of Characters, including every character which has a name. This is most useful to look back on, for example, if you have a waitress that gets an odd mention and you can’t remember what you’ve called her.
·      A list of house, restaurants, pubs, shops etc, fictional and actual places.
·      A list of geographical places, again both fictional and actually in existence.
·      A list of songs, films, books and trade names.
·      A time-line. Probably the most important of all in the editing process; if you keep a note of dates and what occurs during your novel on these days, not only will it help you in remaining consistent, it will also assist you in deciding if you need to add time (e.g. are your hero and heroine ‘getting it on’ too quickly?) or condense.

3. Don’t try to edit everything at once
Something I was very guilty of. It might seem like a laborious task, however, the more times you read through your novel, the more times you will pick up errors. I had a manuscript where I had revealed twice (very dramatically) to the anti-hero that one of my heroines was dying! I now break my edits down into the following revisions:
·      Rewriting: The first round of editing is to go through your manuscript and identify what you can do without, what needs adding in (to reinforce your characters’ motivations) or where the sequence of events needs moving around.
·      Editing: On the second round, focus on actual scenes; where you need to cut a conversation short and lose words or lengthen one to add words and create tension.
·      Grammar & Spelling:  Often known as line edits, your final round of edits should be to comb through for grammar and spelling mistakes and to properly polish.
One final tip is that I find uploading my manuscript to my kindle for a final read helps me to identify any left-over niggles. Although if you are like me (and it is probably the creative in all of us) I am usually still agonising over certain lines in crucial scenes.

I wish you luck in getting your manuscript to the next level of publication and please don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have anything you’d like to ask about my blog post.

About Lisa:
Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teen.  She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence.  Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley.  It came as a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper!  Lisa’s writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde.

Lisa writes contemporary romance with a light-hearted tone.  What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her winning the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition 2016 with her debut novel Meet Me at Number Five.

Twitter: @lisahillie


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this and good luck with your new book x

Rae Cowie said...

Thanks for the fab tips, Lisa. I'm finding my way around Scrivener at the moment, which has helpful functions which act in a similar way to keeping a novel log book. Also, it offers the ability to split the screen, which can be useful when working with two drafts. Good luck with Book 2. xx

Adrienne Vaughan said...

Super tips Lisa, and lots of timely reminders for this author at this point in time! If you take my meaning. Masses of love and luck with the new one. Adrienne X

Crystal said...

Henderson Elizabeth
Dr joy is a trust worthy spell caster and he will be of great help to you. I never believed in spell casting but After 4 years of marriage my husband left me because I lost my womb, and i was unable to give birth to children. I felt like my life has come to an end, and i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time, but thanks to this spell caster called Dr joy whom i met online after my friend Becky Ross told me how he also helped her to bring back her husband in less than 2 days. I believed her and decided to give Dr joy a try and i contacted him on his email and explained my problems to him. He laughed and told me that In less than 2 days, my Husband will come back to me again, and that he will restore my womb and i will give birth to children. At first i thought it was a joke but i took courage and believed as Dr joy has said and it did happen just as this Great spell caster said, My husband called me and was crying, begging for forgiveness. I forgive him and today i am so glad that all worries and problems has gone away, and we are even happier than before, another good news is that i am pregnant now, and very soon we will have our baby. Dr joy is really a gifted and a powerful spiritual man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man. I advice you all If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems just Contact Dr joy on his email on because he will always help you to solve all problems. Once again thank you Dr joy. Thank you, thank you.
you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348100452479.

Anonymous said...

WHATS APP: +2347012841542

I want to thank DR EMU for the wonderful work he done for me and my family, i was having a serious breakup with my ex but when i contacted him for help he brought him back to me with his historical powers, and also helping me to get a job, since he cast his spell for me things has really be good to me and since i know him my husband has been faithful to me, well i will say that this man is a really great spell caster that every one must contact for help, if you are facing breakup or marriage problem just contact this man for help he will help you settle everything with his power, please contact him on his email: once you contact him all your problems will be solve.

Unknown said...

There is a great herbal man called Dr voodoo who can cure Hepatitis B virus and other deadly diseases with the use of natural herbs to cure Hepatitis B virus problems. He is from Africa and he is a great doctor and he can also cure you as well if you are have the problem And other deadly disease and here is email address or Whatsapp +2348140120719 HERPES CURE,CANCER CURE,HIV/AIDS CURE,HPV CURE