Fun news = I graduated college on Sunday! (With honors, which I didn’t find out until the actual graduation 🙂 I’m officially a “real person.” Cool/scary? We’ll see!
Since I completed the first draft of my novel a few days before graduation, I had to wait until after graduation to start editing. My agent wanted the manuscript by Friday so it could it ready for Book Expo America at the end of the month, so I’ve been working around the clock on editing! My biggest piece of advice when it comes to editing = cut out everything that isn’t necessary for the novel to move forward. The Microsoft Word count was 90,000 when I started editing and 83,000 when I finished, which means I cut out 7,000 words in the past few days! The crazy thing is that none of those were full scenes. Some of them were parts of sentences and others full paragraphs, but the story moves faster without them there, as they previously bogged it down. It’s important to keep your reader on their toes — especially if you’re a young adult author! Kids, teens, and even lots of adults have short attention spans and want to get right to the action, so if you have long paragraphs of descriptions — no matter how pretty they sound — it’s a good idea to evaluate if it would detract from your plot if you cut them out. If it doesn’t, then you should probably consider deleting it.
A random thing I noticed while editing was that I use the word “just” wayyy too many times than I need to. I had so many of them, and they didn’t make a difference to the sentence, so I just cut them out! (Prime example right there: that last “just” wasn’t necessary, but I kept it to show you what I mean 🙂 Everyone has “those words” that they overuse, so try to identify yours so you can watch out for them.
I emailed my agent the manuscript last night, but of course I’ve found more things to edit since then. I’m such a perfectionist that it’s crazy — I’ll always find more to edit until I’m forced to hand things in! So I’m going to take a break and watch Vampire Diaries. Yay!