You have a story. It's written. Now what? You've got to edit it. Editing is where all the magic happens. Where ideas become real, where caricatures become characters and where a story becomes novel. This is a post about how to edit, about the editing process, about editing writing errors so you can get your facts straight.
Editing is not just focused on the minute grammatical details—the sort of grammatical minute details that makes you want to take a pen in the eye. The same minute details that not even an editing software can pick up, like a misused “sore” for “soar” or “their” for “Billy Bob Thorton.”
The details you are also looking for are discrepancies in fact. These are the sort of details that are easy to miss and look-over if you don’t quite know that your facts are wrong.
I had a fact that was wrong in this story for 7 years (since I've been working on it for so long, in so many different formats).
The scene in the first section of the book is about the introduction of many characters, all of whom have been dead for some time. Each of them is a famous artist—most did not live in the same time period. This helps the reader ask, "What's going on?" and shows, instead of tells the reader that something interesting is afoot involving the resurrection of notable historical figures of the arts.
The thing about writing this scene meant there was a whole lot of juggling. And of course, I mixed up a line. The line was... The line is...
Apparently, despite how much I want Alexander Pope to have been the writer of “no man is an island,” he is not the writer of “No man is an island.” It is Donne. For years I could have sworn it was Pope.
So when writing, make sure you know who it is who wrote what. What I wrote up incorrectly was nearly the same equivalent of saying that Shakespeare wrote "Hamilton" and, man that Lin Manuel sure must have disliked his Air B & B stay in Denmark to have write such a depressing play as "Hamlet."