Last Saturday, I was finally able to read through my entire manuscript. From what I’ve read on other blogs about the editing process, you should read through your manuscript to see if there are any inconsistencies and if the story flows well but don’t specifically edit anything (easier said than done).
I started to read through my manuscript about two weeks ago and what I did was highlight things that needed to be changed. For example, yellow for phrase changes, green to mention something again within the story, blue for added descriptions, teal to add a sentence/phrase, pink for something I liked and shouldn’t change, and finally red for deletion. I got this idea from YouTuber, The Book Unicorn who used this method after she completed NaNoWriMo. I did this until I reached chapter three. By this point, I was getting bored and highlighting was taking up too much time so I quit after that and didn’t return to it until the following Saturday.
After reading through all 128 pages of my manuscript through Google Docs, I realized I have a LOT of work to do. First off, when I began typing my story idea I didn’t do any kind of outlining. I jumped write into it. I didn’t do any outlining until I was towards the middle of my manuscript, and by outlining, this meant jotting down ideas and plots on sticky notes (both physical notes and on my computer). Close to the end of my manuscript, I wrote bullet points in a Google Doc document explaining in more detail things to come in the story. From what I can see, the areas where I outlined were more structured and flowed together fine. The parts where I did absolutely no outlining which is almost the first half of the manuscript was kind of all over the place. There weren’t enough details on specific characters such as their appearances, events happened too quickly and chapters were too short for my taste. Also, there are major plot holes.
The moral to this story is to outline your story ideas! Yes, you will still most likely have a few plot holes and inconsistencies, but not nearly as much if you actually sit down and plan out the journey of your story and characters.
My first experience reading through my manuscript wasn’t all bad, though. I don’t plan on trashing my entire manuscript like I’ve heard of other writers doing when they were completely turned off from their story. I believe that my story still has potential and just needs to be tweaked and polished… ok it needs a lot of tweaking and polishing, but I still have faith in.
P.S. What do you guys think of the potential book cover of Wisp? I was thinking of changing it to putting the main characters on it instead or changing the design of the “wisp” but now I’m not so sure. Comment below!
How was your first experience reading through your finished manuscript? Do you think outlining is necessary?