I chose to print out my book and edit it longhand first. It just made it easier for me to think and add those needed changes. There will be of course more edits, but my part is almost done. Sooner rather then later, my book is going to be handed off into more capable editing hands.
Editing is just not my favorite thing to do. It's tedious work and it takes a lot of concentration. The fun part of the writing is done with. The "facing-all-your-mistakes-part" is looming ahead of you. Not to worry though. You'll get it over with sooner or later, and when you do, it's a good sort of feeling.
Right, so now for the things that I've learned in this editing process.
1) You're writing isn't perfect, and that's the cold, hard truth.
Throughout the time I was doing the initial write up, I kept hoping "Oh please, please, please be okay. Don't make me edit. I know it won't be entirely perfect, but don't make me edit too much."
Um, yeah, no.
Suffice to say every single piece of my book had some sort of editing mark on it. Lot's and lot's of arrows, lot's and lot's of scribbles, and lot's and lot's of edits. Your first draft won't be perfect and neither will your final one.
Guess what though?
2) Just because you have to edit doesn't mean that you're a bad writer.
In fact, it means the opposite. You're actually a very good writer. All that editing means you are simply perfecting it. If you had concentrated on getting it just right the first time, you would never finish. There's this awesome quote that describes exactly what the first draft means.
"I'm writing the first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles." -Shannon Hale
3) It's okay and sometimes crucial to take out your favorite parts.
This one. Heartless but true. My favorite scene was (joy be mine) crucial, but I had a few that I really liked that I was forced to draw a big red "X" through. No it wasn't fun, but I did feel better about it afterwards. The best stories are the ones that were "edited without mercy". Even if it's thoroughly heart wrenching, take out that favorite scene that just doesn't go with the rest of your story.
Until next time!