The Road to Publication: Editing Book Two

So, at the start of September I was writing the first draft of Book Three and aiming to write 3,000 words a week. This was going quite well, and I had just passed the 30,000 words mark when I received a positive response from a literary agent for Book Two!

It wasn’t an offer of representation but some positive feedback about how I could improve the novel. After months of silence from agents, it felt brilliant to have someone come back with an enthusiastic response.

I had a lot of feedback from beta readers and some thoughts of my own to add to the feedback from the agent so I decided to put Book Three on hold and embark on the fifth draft of my second book, provisionally and unimaginatively, called THE WEDDING.  

Thanks to Jericho Writers, I had been introduced to Rachael Herron’s method for revising a book and I decided to give it a go. You can find out more at her website:

I wrote down all the feedback from the agent and beta readers on post-it notes and then read through the manuscript making more post-it notes as I went along. By the time I had finished, I had nearly 120 post-it notes.

I then created an Excel spreadsheet with a line for every chapter and columns for the following: Chapter Number; what happens; point of view; time and location; revisions that need to be made; research and character arc. I then inputted all the post-it notes into the relevant columns.

This took a few days but by the end I had a comprehensive editing plan. I can now see at one glance how much work each chapter needs and where the major changes are.

I am aiming to finish draft five by early November using this method and then resubmit to the agent. In the first two weeks I have managed to edit about 25% of the novel so it’s going well.

What methods do you use for editing?

Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “The Road to Publication: Editing Book Two

  1. I use the Story Grid method (from the book by Shawn Coyne), which sounds broadly similar. I find having a spreadsheet takes a lot of the emotion out of the process. Lets me be more analytical and feel less like a murderer (of darlings). Good luck with your edit!

    Liked by 2 people

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