How to Edit Your Novel Like a Boss (And Stay Focused While You're Doing It)

What do we want?!

To be published!

When do we want it?!


How do we get it?!


So you've finished your first draft and you're super duper excited. What now? How do you dive back in with the mindset of polishing this jumbled mess of words?

First off, I think it's important to understand the difference between writing and editing. This difference may be obvious, but more specifically I want to point out one particular thing that changes for you, the writer. Have you ever heard this quote before?

"You should write first for yourself, then for others."

In a nutshell it means that you should first write the story you want to read. If you're a proponent of this thought, then this should highlight the difference that I'm talking about:

"You should edit first for your reader, then for your reader."

Once you've written a story you would enjoy reading, make sure your audience can experience the same things that you are. This entire world and its' characters are already alive in your head, now it's your job to make sure you don't lose anything important when translating that world onto paper. In the editing phase, you should make sure the story makes sense to fresh eyes, that your characters have as much depth on paper as they do in your head, and (this part is very important so listen up!) that your reader keeps reading!