The editing journey
Editing. You either love it or loathe it. I'm one that loves it. I don't know why. Maybe it's the English teacher in me, or maybe it's the perfectionist Virgo, but whatever it is, I like nothing more than taking to my own work with a metaphorical red pen.
So what do I look for when I edit? My editor would tell you I was banned from touching the copy edit (the line-by-line edit for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, as well as sentence flow and structure) - a very hard thing, as I cannot abide a mistake! If I find it, I'll fix it, you know?
For me, Shadow of Fire went through several drafts before I let anyone lay their eyes on it. I don't write scenes or chapters in order, and while l had a vague plan of where I was going with this, I changed my mind a lot and had to go back and rewrite sections. The basic plot was always decided, but the journeys some of my characters went on was not, or I thought it was and they had different ideas.
After drafting several times, I was finally ready for someone to see it. Some wonderful people beta read for me and gave the most amazing feedback, which made it so much easier to go back and plug any holes or expand on things that needed more information.
The next step in the process was to find a real-life editor. After some hunting around, I was recommended Danikka Taylor, who honestly, has been amazing! If anyone is looking for an editor, seriously, you need Danikka. I'll post a link to her site at the end of this entry. I decided I wanted a structural or deep edit, and a copy edit, in case I missed something. Danikka works collaboratively, which suited me, and she was amazing! We met through Zoom and worked on the MS together over a few sessions.
I have to say though, the editing process for Shadow of Fire has been made all the easier because I have already written the second book. What this meant was I knew where it ended - I knew where my character's ended up and the road it took to get them there. I knew what they went through. I felt I knew them better after finishing the second book. What this allowed me to do, before I started the process with Danikka, was go back and expand the story in places where I knew it needed it, to better support the story.
Another approach I took was to look at my work through the eyes of a reader. I never used to be able to separate myself from my work, but now I can. Maybe it's an age thing, maybe it's an experience thing, but I'm able to stand back and be objective. And that really helped. As writer's, our stories are our babies, our darlings, but like all children, we need to cut the apron strings and set them free.
To find the wonderful Danikka Taylor, click https://www.taylormademedia.online/about
or check out her Instagram: @danikkataylor