If you don't know (though if you follow me on any social media then you probably do) I've just finished the first draft of my 4th manuscript, which is super exciting. I had it printed and then ignored the book for a week while I focused on other things. Last night I picked up my manuscript and began editing. The process if fairly simple: read the book, mark it up for grammar and spelling and word choice and put sticky notes where I think I should completely rewrite or preform a content change.
So far, I haven't changed a lot of the content. I enjoy what I wrote, I am proud of it and can't wait for people to read it once I finish editing. I do plan for it to go to a professional editor as well mostly for content and development, but I am trying to save money to copy edit myself before I send it off. I have copy edited before and know what to look for in this area.
However, I have never done it before for a book that I wrote. I have never before felt like a story that I wrote is worthy of going into the process of being published. But this story is one that I sincerely fell in love with while I wrote it. And, even after having taken two weeks away from the book in order to clear my mind and distance myself, I was still so eager to jump back into the world of these characters.
I am currently 69/208 pages into editing the manuscript and I've learned a lot about so much: I've been checking for plot consistency and word choice and obviously grammar and spelling. But I've also considered formatting and font size and type. All of these little trivial things seem exactly that: trivial. But overall, they all come to together to help create the theme of your story.
The next step
Well... Once I finish editing for grammar and consistency within the plot and story lines of my characters, I'll give it to a Development Editor to get a fresh opinion of what needs to be added to, given more detail, or cut from the manuscript. I have a person in mind already who's done developmental editing for my in the past. After this step, which would probably take a month or two, I'll be sending it out like crazy to publishers, agents and anyone else who could possibly get it out there.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I've been writing since I was in 5th grade when a very exceptional teacher told me that if I wasn't happy with my world, I could write out what I wanted my world to be and use it as an escape. This got me into journaling and then into actual plots, characters and novels. Getting a book published and actually making this passion into a career was always sort of the plan, but the side plan, I knew it wasn't necessarily a career choice I could depend on, but it was one that I wasn't willing to let go of. This is the first time I've tried to make it a main part of my life and I'm so excited to see the results...whether or not it gets professionally published.