Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Writer's Wednesday: Self-Editing to make a manuscript shine
Making our manuscript shine.
These days, with publishing houses buying fewer and fewer books, and companies buying up other companies, it's pretty much a given that editors won't look past obvious mistakes in writing, or sometimes even small ones.
Yes — yes..... a writer has to have talent in order get an editor to read anything beyond the first paragraph of a novel. And sometimes editors will read only the first couple of lines - because they have so much work to do and so little time to do it.
So -let's assume that we have talent, our books are finished, and we want to send the manuscript to a publisher.
I’m putting up a short list here that might help make our manuscripts stand out... and lead editors to recognize us as professionals are serious, and have who have done our homework.
“SELF-EDITING” means making surface-level changes in your work, so that your writing is gramatically correct. To be skilled at this process, we need to know what to look for when we read over our work.
Here is a basic handy-dandy check list for organizing and finding mistakes or problems in our work:
Things to check and double check:
___Fragments (parts of sentences) Too many?
___Run-ons (two sentences incorrectly joined)
___Extra letters __Missing commas
___Transposed letters __Missing quotation marks
___Incorrect plurals __Misused semi-colons and colons
___Errors in homonyms (such as their/there/they're) __Misused apostrophes
___Errors in pronouns (such as who/whom) __Proper nouns and adjectives
___Wrong verb tense __Errors in titles
___Misused adjectives and adverbs - or too many!
___Incorrect voice (active vs passive)
If we keep this list on hand, and read for errors, we’re going to be one-up on polishing our work to perfection.
Of course, there are so many MORE things to do, like revisions, etc. But this is a start.
When I turn something in, I have done all of this.... and my new book for Nocturne, out this month and titled “GOLDEN VAMPIRE” needed little help from my editor and copyeditor! I have had an editor from Kensington drop a line to thank me for turning in clean manuscripts!
This is a writer’s craft day. So If you have any questions - just holler.
I’m here today to help, to chat, and to support the Pink Heart Society, who do a lot for supporting me, as well as other authors who write series books.
Cheers for now- I’m all ears!
“GOLDEN VAMPIRE” - Nocturne - available now!