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Final Stages: Polishing Your Novel 


Ahhhhh. I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long; to hold a heavy hard copy of my novel in my hands! I finally made it to the last step, polishing up my writing.

During this process, I had printed out scenes or chapters to take to writing groups or for my writing partner to read, but I did most of my editing on my laptop. I waited until my novel was pretty much finished to print it all out— and it was worth the wait.

When the man from Office Depot handed over the thick booklet, I was tingly as I reached out for it. The whole moment was surreal. Here was all the work that has been a secret, stuck inside my head and private, printed out in a neat, thick stack.

There is just something about seeing it all together that is incredible. I wrote a whole book—and all 300 pages of it flows and makes sense! haha.

As I’ve started editing and polishing the hard copy, here is what I’ve noticed. I’ve already done a few rounds of editing on my computer but editing the physical copy goes so much slower— which is a really good thing. Seeing my work on a crisp white page makes me slow down and read more carefully.

I see the sentences in a new way and I read it differently. I think it gives me the much-needed distance as an author and I found that I view it more like a real book. I’m much more objective.

As I finish this last step, I realize that it’s just the beginning of the next steps: researching agents, writing my query letter and synopsis, and then sending it out over and over. And I still need to settle on a name. Whew.

I don’t think many people realize just how much work goes into a single novel. This picture sums it up perfectly.


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