How to Effectively Edit Your Manuscript
If you just finished writing your manuscript, and you are thinking of having it published you should take a step back and edit it first. Remember that your first manuscript will not be perfect. There will always be mistakes, and room for improvement. Before you send in your manuscript to be published, you should edit it as thoroughly as possible. Here are tips on how to effectively edit your manuscript.
1. Don’t Start Right Away
When it comes to editing a manuscript, it is important that you take a step back from your work for a day or two. You just finished a manuscript, and there might be a bit of writer’s fatigue in you. Take it easy for a few days. Don’t write anything on those few days. You should instead clear your mind of the writing process.
Do other activities. Go jogging or play a video game. Do whatever makes you relax. This might seem challenging if you are a habitual writer, and you are used to writing every day. However, taking some time away from the writing process will prove beneficial to you. It will make you miss the writing process, and make you more enthusiastic to edit your work.
2. Look For Obvious Mistakes First
Once you feel ready to start on the manuscript edits, it always pays to look for the most obvious mistakes first. The most obvious mistakes are misspelled words. While most writers use writing software with a built in spellcheck, there will still be some that might have slipped through the cracks.
Don’t rely too much on the spellcheck. Instead, you should check your spelling, word for word. This will allow you to spot any misspelled words. This might seem like a tedious process, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
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3. Look For Overly Long Sentences
Overly long sentences are an eyesore for most readers. They make the sentence almost unreadable. Long winded sentences are also very tiring to read. As a precaution, you should read your work aloud.
It will enable you to spot awkward wordplay. Make sure that your writing is free flowing, and efficient. Take away any unnecessary words, and stick to the main point of your story. When it comes to writing, clarity is key.
4. Keep An Eye On The Spacing
Improper spacing is a very subtle error that could damage your manuscript’s overall effect. If you are just focusing on your writing, you might not be able to spot this subtle error.
However, once you do see it, you will have a hard time not seeing it. When it comes to spacing, make sure that you follow a set format throughout the writing process. This level of consistency, will make your manuscript look more orderly, and easier to read.
5. Look For Incorrect Punctuations
When it comes to writing properly, it is very important that you use punctuations as effectively as possible. Remember that a punctuation error could make your writing sound different.
It will also make your work look amateurish to readers. As a rule, it is important that you master proper punctuation usage before you start writing your manuscript.
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6. Don’t Get Overzealous
While it is ok to be detail oriented on your manuscript editing, you should not go overboard with it. Remember that this is technically just the first part of your book editing, so you should just look for the easier to correct errors for now.
Remember that most authors edit their books multiple times. A good number of writers also have a professional editor look through their work at the very last stage of the editing process.
7. Have A Professional Take A Look At It
After finishing your first round of edits, you should have a professional look through it. While you should be confident in your writing skills, there is always a chance that you’ll make some mistakes.
This is where you will need the help of a professional editor. They specialize in editing and have vast experience in working with other writers. Aside from the obvious writing mistakes, these editors will check your story structure, and give advice on what aspects to change.
Before you have your manuscript published, it is important that you should edit it to the best of your ability. The effectiveness of your editing, will affect whether or not you get a publishing deal. With these tips, you’ll be able to effectively edit your manuscript.
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