I’m hosting a guest post today by Dan Wright, author of fantasy “Trapped on Draconica” about his editing process. Enjoy! I’ll leave the word to Dan Wright now.
I love writing. I wouldn’t be putting out novels if I didn’t enjoy it. That pretty much goes without saying.
What I don’t like though – is the editing process.
Editing for me is like going to the dentist – a frightening concept and sometimes painful, but at necessary evil. Because just like going to the dentist is necessary to make sure your teeth stay healthy, editing is important for making your book look pleasant to read.
Now I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good editor. In fact I have lost count of the amount of times I have looked back over something I’ve written and thought “What was I thinking?” I think the problem with me is, when I was writing (and this is something that I’ve been told about in the past) is that I write TOO much too often. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – after all, when you write, you want to make sure the reader understands what you’re trying to portray. But at the same time you don’t want them to be bored doing so. And this is sometimes I trap I find myself falling into. Often I’ll put in sentences that are just overly long and boring, adding nothing to the scene in question. Or sometimes they’ll just be nonsensical and strange.
So here is how I tend to go through my writing and editing process when putting together a novel. Seeing as I just recently got into painting models for my tabletop war gaming hobby, I decided to set this out as if painting a model.
Step 1 – the basecoat: Just write the story as I think it should go. Don’t worry about grammatical errors at this point, just putting down the foundation of the story. Just like you would put down the basic colours on your model so that you can colour over them.
Step 2 – second coating: After I finish the basecoat, I go through and try to remove any obvious mistakes – just like you would when painting. What I look for here, other than spelling errors, is the sentence structures. Are they giving enough info? Not enough? Does it contradict anything that’s already been set out? And more importantly, is this sentence too long? This is a perfect opportunity to trim down any overly long sentences and try to make them flow better. After all, short sentences will often be easier to digest than long ones. Also, if I have any new ideas for the story then this may or may not be a good time to see how they come across and whether they work.
Step 3 – the shading: Looking over the page to make sure my story to make sure the finer details are obvious. For example, if I use a certain word too much (like ‘said’ for example) are there other words I can use. This is where I use the website Rhymezone. It has a lot of great words to use for writers and even alternate words that you can use in your works. Adds a bit of variety to the story.
Step 4 – the second opinion: Here I will give it to a second pair of eyes for them to see what I may have missed. In this case, my mum. She will go over it with a fine tooth comb and tell me of any errors she thinks might need to be changed or corrected.
Step 5 – the final touches: After she has gone over it, I make ONE final read through of it myself, making sure everything is as it should be. Here I will try and clear out as many of the tiny errors as possibly so that I make it as easy to read as it can be.
Once this is all done, I know the book is ready to be published.
Of course, there are other things I do in between this – such as asking my friends if they can beta read it and give opinions on the story. I have a friend that is very good at this and his feedback has helped me amend the stories accordingly where I think they need to be amended. So things like that are extremely useful.
Editing is a long and sometimes boring process – but it IS necessary. No one wants to read a book full of typos and long winded sentences. And no writer that cares about their work would ever dream of putting a book with these in them out to the general public – not intentionally anyway. Even if you’re only doing writing as a hobby, you should still put the same attention into your work as if you were trying to make a living out of it. Ask your friends and family if they will have a look over it, get a fresh pair of eyes on it. It will help you in the long run, trust me.
About the Book
Author: Dan Wright
Barely into his teens, Ben Anthony has not had it easy. With his father in prison, his mother struggling to keep him under control and his friends little more than criminals in the making, Ben is already on a self-destructive path. But his life is about to get much worse.
Teleported to the world where dragons once ruled, Ben finds himself the target of the malign Baalarian Empire – of which Emperor Gothon seeks to capture him for reasons yet unknown. Teaming with warrior Princess Daniar Dragonkin, her altruistic sister Erowin and the revenge seeking Leonidan Prince Kalak, Ben sets out on a reluctant quest to find his way home. And thus begins his incredible adventure…
Dan lives in the United Kingdom – born in the historic town of Canterbury, Kent. He picked up a love of Fantasy stories after reading such classics as The Lord of the Rings, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and numerous Roald Dahl novels.
His biggest influences are Douglas Adams, Alan Moore, Stan Lee, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joss Whedon, H.P Lovecraft, Hiromu Arakawa and George R R Martin. He is highly influenced by Anime, Video Games and Comic books. He has also written a fan parody series on YouTube called Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron.
As well as writing, Dan plays guitar in a metal band. He likes all kinds of music—but he mainly listens to rock and metal, rap, some pop music and also film and video game scores. He also loves Disney and Pixar movies—often finding himself singing along to the tunes, or crying manly tears!
He is also a slave to his cat, who takes up a lot of his time when he isn’t at work or writing!
To learn more about Dan and the world of Draconica, visit the following places:
Draconica Website: http://draconicaseries.weebly.com