ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

10 Things to Think About When Editing a Book

Updated on May 15, 2016

1) Clear description – You can see it in your head, but can the reader see it? The setting, characters, movements and the environment around the people you’ve made. They need to be clean and clear, not overly described, but described enough for the reader to see what you want them to.


2) Long sentences – If a sentence just keeps going, and going, and going kill it. Cut it in half and break it down. Unless of course it’s a stylistic choice. If you wrote that many words in a string on purpose, then it’s alright; It’s unlikely that you did, though, don’t be lazy, chop it up.


3) Large Paragraphs – Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue! Long paragraphs make your readers want to stop reading, make sure the story flows with dialogue. Without dialogue, the thickness of your paragraphs will seem clumsy and rough. Dialogue drives the story, without it the story gets stale, and a paragraph without dialogue is evidence of the staleness.


4) Clumsy Dialogue – Though one of the most important things dialogue has to make sense. You can’t write “What do you want for dinner’ and have a character respond with ‘football.' If it makes sense and there’s a lot of it, the story flows as it’s supposed to. If not then your reader will be uninterested before they read past the first paragraph.


5) Cutting it Down – Cutting down a story is one of the hardest parts when you have to remove scenes you didn’t really feel for, or really need in the first place. Sometimes cutting out characters themselves is necessary, simply because they held no meaning for the story itself. Sometimes a character comes to a point where they’re no longer useful, and that’s when they need to be killed off. Cut down the story to what is needed and build those parts back up.


6) Consistency – When editing if you notice someone has a backpack, and then another person has the same backpack without it being given to them fix it. Consistency is everything. Is your character on her skateboard or is she walking with it under her arm? Figure it out; you can’t have the best of both worlds.


7) Awkward Phrases – Don’t use phrases like ‘knee slapper’ or any number of slang. Some people who are reading your work, believe it or not, will have no idea what it means. If there is potential for people around the world to read it, don’t use it for this reason. If it’s only going to be published in your area, just remember how unprofessional it sounds.


8) Appropriate Description – Show Don't Tell is one of the most important rules in writing, and ‘showing’ the description of everything is also quite high on the list. Describing can be overdone, though, too much description leaves nothing for the reader, and too little leaves them without anything to work their imagination around. Descriptions should fall right in the middle, not too much, but not too little.


9) Spelling and Grammar – These two things go together, and I like to do them last, just because you’re likely going to be flushing out your scenes at first. Leaving these until last ensures you can correct all the spelling and grammar issues in one or two edits instead of five or six.


10) Actually do it – This isn’t the fun part, believe me it’s kind of terrible. Cutting out things you love or scenes you worked hard on just because they don’t fit. On top of spelling and grammar, along with beefing up your scenes editing is a massive pain. If you don’t do it, though, all of the writing you’ve done to get to this point will be for nothing. Get to work.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • renee21 profile image

      renee21 

      2 years ago

      Great hub! I am writing a book currently. I have not reached the editing stage. But, these are useful tips for when I do start editing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)