• Elaine Kelly

Eight tips for Eight Months of Editing

Updated: Oct 8

I am so pleased to have my blog published by Charlotte Readers Community Voices! It tells my story of editing for eight months and gives eight tips for those of you who want to know what to look at in your editing.

Thank you to Tessa Afshar for posting the idea to submit a blog to this forum!

#writerslife #WritingCommunity #womensupportingwomen #womanauthor #womensfictionauthor #womensfiction #inspiration #empoweredwomen #christianfiction #biblicalfiction #feministtheology #amediting #amwriting

"Out of Brokenness: The Forgotten Followers" is a historical Christian fiction telling the story of two women who work to overcome their brokenness and isolation. It is a provocative look at how Jesus encouraged women as leaders, disciples, and apostles, and it shines the light on every woman who interacts with Jesus in the Gospels, many of whom have been remembered only for their faults, belittled, or forgotten altogether.


Here is a copy of my blog:

Eight Tips for Eight Months of Editing

Writer: Elaine Kelly In 2020 I wrote a novel. I spent many hours, weeks, and months researching the historical time and culture, various interpretations of women in the gospel stories, and deciding on the stories and backstories to include. I thought I was done. But I have spent eight months in 2021 editing, and I know the novel is better because of it. Here are eight tips for editing for eight months:

  1. Character Development: Early in 2021 I went through the novel from beginning to end, adding details to develop my characters. I looked up free images online that aligned with my idea of twelve women in my novel and added details of their hair and clothing to my story. I added their childhood and families, their fears and hopes, likes and dislikes, strengths and struggles.

  2. Context: I looked at each scene and added details about where the characters were, and what they were doing, if they were standing or sitting or working. What they were cooking or eating, smelling or seeing. I added activities or actions that might mirror the thoughts and internal conflicts.

  3. Themes: My goal is to empower and inspire today’s readers by showing women who have been forgotten or belittled. In addition, I want to show today’s religious leaders that Jesus called and trained women to be disciples and apostles. After brainstorming with my sister, I changed my title to focus on the theme and main characters: Out of Brokenness: The Forgotten Followers.

  4. Plot: My first draft seemed like a series of anecdotes, so I changed it so that each sentence moved forward either the plot or the character arc. I created a chart showing which chapters had the main character making progress towards her goal, and which chapters had her struggling with a crisis. My chart revealed where I needed to add a crisis and what to subtract from the final denouement.

  5. First Chapter: After looking again at my story, I realized there was an exciting crisis in chapter five – I needed to move that to chapter one to c