It used to take me FOREVER 😩

published5 months ago
3 min read




It used to take me FOREVER, Reader. Weeks. Months even. And I used to dread it just as much as everyone else.

Sometimes I’d put it off for weeks and start something new just so I wouldn't have to do it. Procrastination by means of doing more work. 😩

I’m of course talking about editing. More specifically editing a story.

It used to take me months to do. Endless weeks of grueling tedious work. Now that I have an organized well-thought-out system, I can edit a third of a book in a week. No joke.

So if the thought of editing makes you want to scroll the latest social media instead? Well, then you’re in luck because I’m about to show you how to do pain-free edits in 3 passes.

First Draft

In your First Draft pass of edits you want to do the following:

Go through chapter by chapter and catalog important details about the main cast of characters and locations.

  • Creating and maintaining a continuity log like I mentioned back in Quest 23 is super helpful for this.

Highlight any place where info needs to be researched: measurements, place names, uniform details—anything—just highlight it and use a placeholder or symbol like an asterisk.

You can set up hotkeys to make highlights like this a snap in Scrivener

Make sure there are no remaining plot holes. You don’t want any unused Chekhov's guns or unintentional red herrings.

Lastly, make sure each scene flows into the next or that you properly utilize scene or chapter breaks.

Second Draft

In your Second Draft pass of edits you want to do the following:

Start at the beginning and fill in the info you highlighted in the previous draft. You know all those details you shelved to look up or research until later? Now's the time to do it.

Check your characters and location descriptions against your continuity log to ensure they remain consistent throughout the story.

This is why programs like Scrivener that offer a side-by-side view to display your log on one side and your story’s scene or chapter on the other are super helpful.

Third Draft

In your Third Draft and final pass of edits you want to do the following:

Read your story aloud chapter by chapter as you edit to ensure flow, pacing, and voice are consistent. This will also help you spot errors and typos.

Using an app like Grammarly will help you speed up the technical side of editing by catching all those remaining grammar or spelling errors.

And that’s it, Reader, the pain-free process I use each week for all my story edits.

Well, I’ve got to get back to my Camp NaNoWriMo project, Reader. I hope you have a wonderfully creative week!

Your cohort in storytelling,

Kat Vancil


PS 👉 Are you on Threads? I am too! You can find me at @thesagaofkat and ask me all your storytelling-related questions, share what you’re working on, or even just send me cute pics of your pet. Seriously, who doesn’t need more cute cat pics in their day?

Did your friend, co-worker, or some rando you met at a con forward this email to you?

First off, they have good taste.

Secondly, you can join the Storyteller's Saga too and get edutaining emails delivered to your inbox every Wednesday by clicking the golden button below.

Not interested in learning to be a storyteller and just want to read some heart-pounding Boys Love fiction instead? Abandon this quest

Do you need/want to change your name or email? You can update it here

Don't want to hear from me like ever again? Just Unsubscribe

The Saga Quest

1179 West A Street, Suite 137, Hayward, CA 94541

I’m Kat! Professional Storyteller & Neurodivergent Creative

Here to help you vanquish those story construction obstacles, slay that imposter syndrome clawing at the back of your brain & stomp boredom flat with heart-pounding Boys Love fiction. Join the Saga and choose your inbox obsession, whether it’s helpful advice to get your writing unstuck or 500+ words of weekly Boys Love Dark Fantasy to devour during your coffee break.

Read more from I’m Kat! Professional Storyteller & Neurodivergent Creative