Pen & Ink

Sharing Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tutorials

Editing Q&A – Part 3

Hi readers! This is the last installment in my Editing Q&A Series, where you readers get to ask me questions about editing and I will answer them!

In this post, I’ll be sharing my experience in editing and answering questions, such as how to handle major plot holes, how long it typically takes to edit a book, and how to know if your chapter breaks make sense. So, grab a cup of tea, and let’s get started!

(NOTE: The form to submit questions is unfortunately closed now. However, if you are interested in me doing another Q&A on a different writing-related topic, please let me know in the comments!)

Lily’s Question

What should I do when someone asks for honest help with editing their first draft and I find a major plot hole that would mean rewriting half the book? How can I go about saying that? 

I’ve been there, Lily. I often edit books for friends that have many issues in them, and it can be difficult to tell them without hurting their feelings.

The best approach would be to be honest and direct, while also being sensitive to the writer’s feelings. For example, you could say something like, “I’ve noticed a major plot hole in the story that would require significant rewriting. I understand that this can be difficult to hear, but I want to be honest with you because I want to help you make the book the best it can be. Let’s talk through this together and come up with a plan for moving forward.”

This can still be a difficult situation to navigate, but you have to remember that the writer did ask for your help in the first place, and you’re just doing your job as an editor.

Aletheianna’s Questions

How long does it typically take you to edit?

For me personally, the entire editing process takes me six months to a year. That is only to my level of experience and my pace of working; it can be different for every writer.

In general, the amount of time it takes to edit a book depends on the length of the manuscript, the complexity of the story, and the skill of the editor. For an experienced editor, it might take a few weeks to edit a full-length novel, while for a less experienced editor, it could take several months. It just depends on what works best for you as a writer.

Adele’s Question

How do you know if your chapter breaks make sense?

When you edit, you’ve probably gone through your manuscript and realized that something was wrong with how you broke up your chapters. You can’t quite put a finger on what it is, but it needs to be fixed.

So here are a few things to consider when reading through your chapter breaks:

  1. Did you wrap up the end of the chapter? Did you leave the end of the chapter wrapped up nicely, or did you end it open-endedly where it leaves your reader wondering if there was a mistake in ending the chapter? Make sure you wrap up your chapters nicely with the end of the “action and reaction” sequence. (If you don’t know what “action and reaction” means, ask me in the comments and I’ll explain in a future post!)
  2. Did you leave the reader in suspense? All good chapters end on a cliffhanger. Why? Because it keeps the reader saying “just one more chapter”, and they end up reading the entire book in a day. 

Final Words…

Alright, that’s it for today, everyone! I hope you enjoyed this post!

In the meantime, I have some special announcements. First, my new book, Identity, is going to be released February 1st, only eight days from now! In honor of the book’s release, I am hosting a book release tour, featuring bloggers such as Kaytlin Phillips, Vanessa Hall, Ava Coulter, Joy C. Woodbury, Aletheianna Mercy, Grace A. Johnson, and many more! I hope you’ll join along with the tour and read some of the amazing blog posts we have planned!

So, what did you think of this post? Do you ever have trouble with chapter breaks? How long does it take you to edit? What is your best editing tip? Let me know in the comments!

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2 responses to “Editing Q&A – Part 3”

  1. Saraina Avatar

    Wow, girl, you have such fantastic advice!!! (And yesss, the whole action/reaction thing is something I learned about a few years ago and it’s been SO helpful for in keeping the flow of the story natural when I write!) Thank you for sharing this post!!! 😀

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!