Monday, March 14, 2016

Always Edit One More Time

You have gone over your story millions of times (or at least it feels like it). Your critique partners have looked it over. Maybe your agent has looked it over. That's great! The more you look at it, the better. But, before you send it out, look it over one more time. Line edit that manuscript and make sure it is as clean as you can make it.

This last weekend, I spent the time looking over manuscripts for three different clients. All of them have great support systems working with them so I am always confident the stories they submit are amazingly clean. And yet, I took one more time, with them, to make sure the projects were still free of errors.

I want to remind you of something a colleague of mine once said. I have said this here before so bear with me if this seems repetitious. "Don't give the editor or agent a reason to reject you." We get that you may make mistakes. We get that you will likely have a typo in 300+ pages of material. Editors and agents are not that cold and heartless. But, they are human.

So, what are the things you want to look for?

  • Formatting issues where you might have screwed things up cutting and pasting during a massive overhaul. 
  • Spelling errors, especially with words like PRINCIPLE and PRINCIPAL.
  • Editing changes your forgot to take out. This is really for those of you who use the review function in MS Word.
  • Punctuation errors.
  • Missing quotations marks. I see this a lot where the first quote is put in, but the second never makes an appearance. 
Again, these might be small errors, but these little dings might be the reason your story isn't making any forward progress toward being published.

No comments:

Post a Comment