First, you have a great idea for a nonfiction book or memoir. You’ve done the research, compiled the notes, or lived the life you want to share with your readers. Now what? Your chapters are in rough draft form, (hopefully you have been working with an editor so they are not too rough), but how do you know the best way to present this information to a reader so that they will get the most out of what you are trying to impart? How do you make the story or non fiction study flow? Do you start at the beginning or present the results and then go back to the beginning. Should you organize your chapters in chronological order?
In addition to creating the flow necessary to keep your readers interested, tuned into your book, and turning the pages, not to mention recommending it to their friends, the “sub edit” also shows you and your editor the areas in which there are holes that require filling. Also, you can clearly see where the repetition is, and there is always repetition. When you are writing a book, it can take a couple of years, and you will not remember what you wrote in chapter 2 when you are writing chapter 8. Yet another reason for the “sub edit.”
The “why” of the organization process for your chapters is that your writing will transform from a bunch of notes to a real, readable, marketable book. So, start writing and don’t worry about what goes where, that’s my job!