Saturday, February 10, 2018

3 Things to Note While Writing First Drafts to Make Editing Easier

It's that time of year: NaNo novel editing time. This can be a dreaded time of year because it's when you're finally looking at how messy that novel came out. XD Maybe this post is a little late, but I'm going to share with you one of my editing tricks that makes sorting out that messy first draft a little easier.

1.) Take Notes as You Go - When I'm writing my first drafts, I'm always taking notes as I go. Notes can be taken in the notes section on Scrivener, comments on Microsoft word, or a good old-fashioned notebook. Things I make sure to write down are:

  • Inconsistencies
  • Backstory that I figured out later in the draft
  • Stuff that needs to be foreshadowed that I didn't know about till later
  • Research
  • Characters that need names
  • Worldbuilding that needs to be developed

Out of these research is the biggest one because I research a little before writing but most of my research happens before the second draft because often I don't know all of the research I need until then. Having these notes already saves a lot of time when I'm editing. It may slow you down a bit in writing to take down these notes, but it's best to write them down now because you may forget them when you're going through the first round of edits.

Take notes as epically as Light Yagami
2.) Write Down One Sentence Summaries of Chapters - This is super duper helpful for when you know your plot is a mangled mess and you just need to get that out of the way before you go into even the research or when you're trying to find an event that happened in a chapter and not even the search bar is helping. After I finish a chapter while drafting I write down in the index card feature of Scrivener a small summary of what happened in the chapter. This helps me organize my plot easily. If you don't have Scrivener, a comment in Microsoft word or writing it down in a notebook is good too.

3.) Label Points of Views - Sometimes you may need to see how evenly dispersed the POVs are, delete a POV, or change a POV for a chapter. This saves you so much time when you're going through the chapters trying to find which chapter has whose POV. In Scrivener, you can do this by going to labels then edit then create a new label. I like to color code my labels so when I'm looking at the note cards I see which chapter has whose POV at a glance. Again using Microsoft comments and a notebook are a good substitute. Writing the POVs in different colored ink can be a good idea too!

Conclusion -  These are little things and may add a few more minutes to your writing time, but they can make your editing life much easier. Just don't take notes in a Death Note. Don't want a character massacre. ;)

Do you take any of these notes while writing your first drafts? Do you have any to add? Have you watched Death Note

You may also like:
Extending Your Novel: How to Make the Story Longer Without Just Adding Fluff
Six Tips For Line Editing
Writing vs. Editing: The Different Mindsets
How Sentence & Paragraph Structure Can Boost Your Book
How I Do Betas: Tips on Efficiently Testing Your Book on Willing Test Subjects

No comments:

Post a Comment