Write with wine, Edit with coffee...
"Editing Fiction is like using your fingers to untangle the hair of someone you love." ~Stephanie Roberts.
In my opinion, the editing process is the most daunting part of writing your novel. Imagine you've just poured your soul into writing 80,000+ words. It's taken months or even years - and all of the arcs of your story have intersected perfectly like a perky version of the Bermuda Triangle. You silently thank God, clap your shriveled and cramped hands together and declare this novel finished. Short of kissing the soft cheeks of your newborn babies, there is no better feeling. You take a break from the novel for a week or so and then start reading the hundreds of books and articles on editing. Researching everything that you can find on the subject. Advice from every major publishing group, agents and other authors. By the time you sit down at the computer to begin the slashing you're so confused you don't know whether to wind you're butt or scratch your watch. I'd rather have a third eye in the center of my forehead than rip apart my incredible story and make it bleed. It would be much easier to hand it to someone else to rip - so I did.
I am so grateful to my Beta Readers - (Nancy L, Angie W, Shelby, Lucinda, Sarah, Paloma, Rachel, Kristi, Kellie, Casey, Angie N, Linda, Erin, Amy & Deb) who gave me encouragement and amazing insight into my beloved characters and especially to Amy A. who stayed up most of the night to help me meet a deadline for an agent last June and began the arduous process of helping me clean up small tense and grammar mistakes. But especially to Deb Rhodes. Deb was initially a Beta Reader that I found online and I was so impressed with her abilities that I hired her to edit the book as well. She was able to deeply understand the characters, plot and theme and even brought out some underlying themes that I hadn't even grasped. Deb was professional, fast but completely thorough and wasn't afraid to gently tell me exactly what I needed to hear. Her advice was quick, thorough and right on target. If you are thinking about writing/editing fiction or non-fiction, remember her name - you and your novel will be much better for it.
Find Deb Rhodes at www.betterbetareads.weebly.com