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.