I'm finished with the first draft of Back Home and have put it aside to ponder another day. Right now I'm working on Going Home and have prepared 4 new chapters, which I think will help to take the story in an exciting new direction and tighten the existing story even more. This is one stage I feel that's crucial in the editing process before I send it out to my editor to get the most benefit from my experience with her. What I like to do is put my chapters through the edit minion grinder—it's one of my editing secrets. You can find edit minion at http://www.editminion.com. This is a great little program and powerful too. I once tried it on a 96,000 word manuscript I had and it still did the job for me, although I had to lessen the work load on the poor little creature.
It's a pretty self explanatory device. You select which of the functions you want it to perform by checking boxes for any adverbs using the adverbinator, weak words, said replacements, passive voice (which I find so useful), ending with preposition, tricky homonyms, clickés (also very useful), common misspellings (which are in US English and not Canadian, something for Canadians to watch out for, but you probably already knew that ;) ), and frequently used words. Once you've checked off the appropriate boxes and press the edit button on the bottom you'll generate a "report card" which will use colour coded highlighting to indicate which words are suspect for those categories you previously checked off.
I've used this on more than one occasion and it's a huge time saver. I've never found it a replacement for a good editor.
A poor editor can be your worst nightmare, and believe me I've run into my share of those, but a good editor can be your best friend, and if you're writing a novel, especially if you put your work out there for other's to buy on Kindle, Smashwords, etc, in my opinion it's where you should spend most of your time and money.
I'll give you some tips for finding a good editor in one of my upcoming posts. Oh, and don't forget to check out my most recently published work Going Back. It's only 99 cents on Kindle. To find it click on the image below.
You can find me through the week at www.Kimwelsman.ca or on twitter @kimwelsman.