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Indie Novella Writing Course
Lesson 9 - Editing

Editing Damien 1
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For the last week of the Indie Novella writing course we are going to focus on answering the all-important question; you’ve finished the first draft of your novel, what do you do now? To answer simply, enjoy the moment!


Writing a novel is an achievement.  You’ve already succeeded where many have failed. So this lesson aims to provide you with tips and a series of resources when it comes to editing and what to do next when you’re done.

Have a well-earned rest


Time away from your novel once you’ve completed a draft is vital.  As writers, we get so wrapped up in our story and in our characters, we are unable to perform the most critical function of an editor: being impartial.  Time away, reading something new, writing something else, enables us to return to our manuscript later and do something essential – read it.  While writing a novel is a great achievement in itself, to take a novel to publication you need to read your novel as a reader would.  Therefore, put down that pen, switch-off that laptop, and put the first draft away.  Jane Austen would lock her manuscript in a drawer and pass the key to a friend with strict instructions not to return it for a year.  If you do choose to adopt this approach we do advise you to first check your phone and keys are not in said drawer.  A good time to come back to your work is ideally when the conditions under which the book were written have been forgotten and you have a cold, clear eye on your work.