How I E
With the first round of Fathoms Between edits behind me, I thought it would be fun to take a minute and talk about how, exactly, I go about editing a book. Naturally, a lot of it is working with my editor to iron out things like grammar, punctuation, sentence/chapter structure, story alignment, time line issues, and character arcs. And, of course, there's always the painful "cutting" process, in which bits and pieces of my book are deleted forever because, in the end, they just don't work or don't add anything to the story (i.e. they're either bad writing or white noise, and neither is something I want). However, I also use editing tools to help break down smaller nuances within the story that might otherwise escape my attention. One of the main editing tools I use is Microsoft Excel. Whether it's because I work with spreadsheets during my day job Monday through Friday, or simply because that's how my brain is hardwired, seeing my problem areas broken down in spreadsheet format (and yes, color coded) really helps me get a handle on it better than if I tried to scroll through the book and edit as I go.
This is a shot of problem area # 1 that I focused on in this round of edits: character involvement. Writing from multiple POVs like I do is great and fun, but it's also really hard, because if one character is doing 95% and the rest of your characters are doing less than 5% each, well, there's not really much point in writing from their point of view, is there? So what I find it helpful to do is, after I've plugged out my initial draft and turned it into a rough draft is go through and mark down in Excel how many chapters are being told from each character's pov. This helps me step away from the book and see who needs to do more/whose voice needs to be heard more in order for the reader to really connect with that character vs who might be doing a little too much. As you can see, when I made this spreadsheet, my mc Cather was doing the majority of the talking/doing lol while the guys were doing little to nothing, especially Peter. Poor Peter. By the end of this revision round, I had cut Cather's number of pov chapters almost in half and doubled Hermes's, Peter's, and Hades's. Ares was the only one I did not have to adjust at all.