Your Book’s First Editor Is You: Is It Too Soon for Line Editing?

Feb 28, 2023 | For Beginners, Novels, The Highlights Foundation Experience

I’m Not Finished With My Draft Yet.  Is It Too Early for Line Editing?

We all come to the Highlights Foundation in different stages of experience. During a recent workshop, an attendee asked me if learning about line editing would be useful for them as they work on their not-yet-complete novel draft.

I am wondering if i’m jumping in [to line editing] too soon,” they said, “as my manuscript is still a huge work in progress and only barely half done.”

Not at all, I answered. I believe writers should be bold in learning new skills. Remember, you are your book’s first editor, which I discuss in another blog post, Learning to Love Line Editing.

Taking Line Editing is okay, even in the early stages, and especially if you’re feeling stuck! That’s because what we focus on is scenes. And not even scenes: snippets of conversations, snippets of your characters’ experiences, and snippets of their actions.

By focusing in on small parts of your manuscript, you may discover a new level of confidence: “Okay, now I know how to proceed.” As you read mentor examples and practice on your own characters, you will have a better sense of how to fine-tune those interactions, with a better sense of your vision and the steps you need to take to finish your draft.

Thank you for your insight, Jennifer, and for teaching us about how Line Editing can be a useful tool throughout the writing process.

Thank you to our faculty for this Guest Post!

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