Because I am a self-published author, I don’t have the resources to employ an editor for my drafts. I seek out feedback occasionally from a few trusted family members but that is chiefly on content and not editing.
When it comes to editing, I have to read and re-read and re-read again, everything I write. I go over it all a thousand times, and, I tend to change it a thousand times. And despite all these changes and improvements, I find I have certain words I use more than others. For example, “dark”. It is easy in dark fantasy to overuse the word “dark”. It’s also, when writing and reading three hundred pages of manuscript, easy to overlook how often you are using the word “dark”.
When I edit, the FIND feature is indispensable.
If I look for the word “dark” in the manuscript, the FIND feature will reveal not only the word “dark” but all words containing those four letters in that order. That means it will reveal all the times I used dark, darker, darkest and darken.
In my novel, The Crystal Crux – Betrayal, I limited my use of the word ‘dark’ or some variation of it to 129. I’m sure while I was writing it, I used the word ‘dark’ or some variation more than 129 times.
The FIND feature than allows me to locate each use and adjust it, change it. And one of the great things about changing a word, is the transformation on the whole sentence, possibly paragraph.
With fantasy, you want to paint a powerful image in the mind of the reader, and dark is a good word to use but sometimes there are other forms of darkness that can add a whole new meaning and depth. When the word dark becomes gloomy, dreary, murky, sinister, hellish and aphotic, you can find yourself changing the whole sentence. And if you change the sentence, there goes the paragraph. And before you know it, you’ve got to go back and edit all the editing you just did.
Some times it can all seem pretty circular but it is worth it when the product is completed and you look back with pride and say, “Wow, I wrote that?”
Remember to recommend THE CRYSTAL CRUX series to your reading friends. The next book in the series, BLUE GROTTO, should be released no later than November 2016.