Editing your WIP or polishing your work, whichever you care to call it, can be either the fun part or a nightmare depending on your point of view.
When I first started trying to write Pocket Novels, I much preferred the actual writing of the story, the creative process and the character and plot development. I was then impatient to get the story out there and wasn't keen to spend much time on editing.
However, editing is absolutely essential to the process of a finished book. Nowadays when I write, my work goes through at least 3 to 4 edits. I write longhand with paper and pencil. Then I type it up which allows me to make the first changes - perhaps changing sentence structure, finding spelling errors and also making major changes such as a character's job or hair colour and so on.
The second edit is made on the computer, again picking up jarring notes as I read it out loud from the screen. Here too is the opportunity to make further plot changes if things are heading off in the wrong direction as the manuscript lengthens.
Finally I print the whole MS out and read it through again. There are still things needing changed and improved at this stage!!
Before I send the book off to My Weekly, I take the time to make sure that paragraphs are indented, that chapters are numbered correctly and that my timeline really does work.
It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater though. If I do decide to remove great chunks of text, I keep them in a separate folder and some if it can be recycled. For example I started a pocket novel which had three girls in it. It soon dawned on me that there was room for only one main female character so the other two had to be ditched to my spare folder. Later I took Melody from the folder and gave her her own story - published recently as 'Calling Home'. It's true, none of your work is ever really wasted!
My first published pocket novel -Wild For Love- in its first incarnation was only 24,000 words long. Maggie (My Weekly's editor) kindly told me she liked the story but it was far too short for the market. It was only after several painful rewrites and lots and lots of editing that it was accepted - what a thrill! In a shameless plug - you will be able to buy it as an E-Book from tomorrow at Astraea Press.