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1) Read the entire manuscript – edit, make notes, cut anything not essential

I was excited to work on my novel today…until I sat down and actually started reading it!

I laugh as I write that.

The truth is, I just happened to start on a rather uninspired chapter tonight. As I pushed on, I found it more enjoyable and even thought of ways to improve the chapter…which is the whole point of this first step. I’m laughing because it’s going exactly the way it should.

Right now, I’m working with the printed manuscript, making handwritten notes in the 350-bound-pages. My brain edits so much better with a pen on paper.

There’s nothing like holding your physical manuscript…it’s inspiring…and daunting. Currently, I’m on page 46. What I’m especially interested in observing and understanding is when “the shift” takes place. As I recall from the last time I read the book from beginning to end, around chapter twelve something magical happens…the language stops being clunky and getting in the way…it all starts to flow…it reads like a proper novel. I recall being sucked into it…and I wrote it! So here at chapter six, it’s inevitable that I find paragraphs and descriptions a bit lackluster.

Step one is all about pushing on, finding the magic, and keeping the faith.

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