Writing is a great way to escape reality and just step into a world where everything is possible. When you lose yourself in writing, you reach unbelievable levels of happiness. But, you have to write about something you love.
Writing a book is not an easy task, but it can be something that will earn you enough reputation and funds for the rest of your life. Of course, if you manage to put out a successful product out on the market. Earning a living through writing is amazing. You give someone content to read in their free time, and in return, you get paid for it. But, it’s not easy to become successful at it. You need to face huge competition, and sometimes it’s discouraging to even at the very start.
But, just like everything else in life, the beginning is always the most difficult part, so we encourage all new writers to keep going and trust the process. Today we’re going to help you by providing seven great tips for editing your first book, so if you are currently finalizing your product that needs to be edited soon, this is the right place to be. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
1. Get a second opinion from a friend
As we mentioned above, it’s very easy to lose yourself in writing, so when you spend so much time writing a book, your ability to think realistically and objectively can easily bend. So, you will most likely end up thinking that your book is perfect or that it doesn’t need any editing, but that’s rarely the case. Even the best writers in the world need their content edited in order for it to be as successful as it is upon release. If you don’t have a friend who’s a writer, consider asking someone on the internet to help you. In your writing career, you probably made a few writer-buddies, right? If not, worry not, we still have websites such as editmojo.com for example.
2. Leave your script for a month
Once you are done writing, it’s time to do something that a lot of writers consider the most difficult part of the entire procedure. Yup, we’re talking about leaving your script on the side for a while, preferably a month if you can make it that far. We advise you to completely forget about it. Don’t even think about what you wrote or how it turned out, not even what’s going to happen after you release it. Forget about fame, money and everything else related to it. After a month, you’ll look at your book with a different pair of eyes. The freshness in your mind will allow you to notice where the flaws are, and what needs improving.
3. Try to keep it short and concise
When editing, it’s important to keep things as short and concise as possible. Don’t allow your book to be one of those that people have to go through by skipping pages and not paying enough attention to the content that matters the most, just because everything is too long, just like this sentence. Keep things concise. Don’t include words that you don’t need. Shorter is better. When you start editing you’ll realize half of the words you used are not really needed. Your readers will love you for keeping things concise. But, don’t overdo it. Don’t remove important parts of the story just for the sake of keeping things shorter, unless you have some sort of a limit you have to respect.
4. Balance out your most used words
Every writer has a kryptonite, a word that we use too much and way too often. We’re not sure what yours is, but you should find it and reduce it to the bare minimum. You don’t want to be known as “the writer that used a certain word too much.” Besides, it looks very unprofessional. This was a real pain to do back in the past, but now we have software such as Microsoft Word, Grammarly and many others, so you can find out your most used words in less than five minutes. You can even use a word-replacing computer program if you don’t want to replace them manually. The possibilities are endless, thanks to technology once again.
5. Pay attention to formatting
The way your book is formatted makes a lot of difference in how much your readers will like it. Formatting is a tool that needs to be used for two important reasons. Keeping things clear and easy to find, and navigating through the content with ease, without interrupting the reading experience. Formatting is especially important for E-Books, but it’s important for regular books as well. Although most people prefer to read E-Books nowadays, or even “worse”, listen to them while doing something else, formatting is still important.
6. Edit slightly, but not too much
Don’t over-edit your content. Sometimes the magic in your book is your unique writing style and the way you express yourself. A lot of people make the mistake of removing this important element out of the content by trying to “shape” the script and story in an unnatural way. This can also happen when you hire someone else to edit for you without your supervision. Remember, editing is very important, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Your book shouldn’t lose its magic by shaping your style into something that’s simply not it.
7. Consider hiring someone else
Last but not least, it’s important to understand that you can be a brilliant writer, but a very poor editor. So, if this is your case, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe you have the best story-telling abilities, but you don’t know how to format and pay attention to other editing aspects such as word choice and other similar elements. So, if this is you, consider hiring someone else to edit your book, under your supervision of course. Editors can make a huge difference when it comes to how the final product will look like.