I HATE editing and I wish my first draft was perfect - says most writers.
The first draft of my novel Me Too was a whopping 226K words - this is a massive 'no - no' in the world of romance novels. Ideally, the word count should be around 70-95K or 100K if you're pushing it. So why the hell is my novel so long?!
Welp, that's because I write in a serialized fashion. If you've read my novels on Wattpad or Patreon you'll know I tend to bust out 3-6 chapters a week over about a 4 month period. Writing this way has helped me finish 2 novels in a year and has helped me focus on just getting the novel done - this also means I tend to overwrite and go off on tangents with characters that aren't essential to the main story (whoops!)
However, I'm learning that writing this way also makes editing a very daunting process. I have to cut A LOT of things out and then fix the plot holes and make it a fully fleshed out story that keeps the focus on my two main cinnamon buns.
I was getting a bit annoyed at this word count rule and while I was on my writing break (by that I mean I've been editing) I read a few romance novels in my genre and it really opened my eyes to the way a story should be structured. Contemporary romance tends to move quickly and my slow burns were honestly way too slow. I was thinking of developing romance in a real world situation and actually trying to write them that way. Me Too happens over a 10 month period and I tried to capture all ten months which is ridiculous and also why my novel ended up being so long.
I love fluff chapters and scenes with the MCs doing mundane things. I also love adding in my antagonists doing their evil deeds - I think that stems from my love of writing fantasy where you can have those villainous chapters.
Anyway, I suppose my point in this rant about editing is:
Read novels in your genre to get an idea of how the story should flow and be structured
Never be afraid to get another pair of eyes on your novel to help you cut out the fluff. Editors and Beta readers are your friend. *if you feel they're attacking you personally, they aren't your friend and they aren't an editor or a beta reader. They should help you grow and improve, not make you feel like your work isn't worth it *
Serializing your writing can be a massive help, but try to stay focused on the main plot and character development.
Get some reference books to help you - the Emotion Thesaurus has been my go to lately and it's honestly the best reference book I have.
DO NOT edit the novel until you're ready. Sometimes you need to let your book sit for a minute before you're ready to tackle any changes or as a lot of people say 'kill your darlings'. You WILL have to cut scenes and characters that you love and until you're ready to do that, just leave the novel alone.
I hope this rant and those tips helps someone out there! As always, thank you so so much for reading. Happy writing! Happy editing!