Fellow writers, friends and family may be helpful with your various edits; but be wary. I have been working on my novel based on a true story for a “longer than I thought” timeline. I have done more research than I had anticipated, and I have been reticent about my intrusion into the lives of Ferenc and Musa Ruttka because they were not created characters. They were real people. But that is an aside.
People who care about you and some who do not are not the best choices for an early edit. I have encouraged fellow writers to take comments, sometimes hysterically disparate, with, as my mom would have said, “a grain of salt.” We have endured comments that hurt, confuse, or no comment of any value. Editing our work with people who are smarter than we are is the best policy.
A friend of mine, a person who is guileless, has encountered some unbelievable remarks on her first book. Many were positive to the 9th degree, but some actually funny because they were ridiculous and thoughtless. (Should I say stupid?) Arm yourself against well-meaning, but unhelpful critics.
One step is to ask for what you want, eg. Are my characters portrayed consistently? Does the storyline flow?
More on the editing process next week. Put up your armor and develop a sense of humor to survive.