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Too many manuscripts come to an editor at a stage that reflects the I’m-ready-to-have-this-writing-over-with-finally stance of tired writers. Writing can be a long and tedious task after the initial rush of creativity and enthusiasm. Use these self-editing techniques before sending your manuscript in to an editor.
Note from the Editor: This first installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around self-editing techniques. For Part 2 Use of Time Click here. For Part 3 Time Sequencing and Flashbacks Click here
Self-Editing Techniques and Tips
I have been a memoir and fiction editor since 1990. In that time, I have worked with hundreds of manuscripts.
Some have come to me requiring only slight tweaking. The texts are nearly ready for publication. The authors have created an interesting and well-crafted piece of writing.
The Develop Vivid Characters Program
- Are the characters in your memoir captivating your readers—rather than boring them?
- Are you at a loss—“Help! What can I do!”—about how to make the people in your memoir more relatable?
- Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
Too many other manuscripts, however, have come at a stage that reflects the I’m-ready-to-have-this-writing-over-with-finally stance of tired writers. Writing can be a long and tedious task after the initial rush of creativity and enthusiasm. Once the glow fades, Pegasus drops the enchanted writer from the skies and—horrors—the writer has to mount a pack mule to trudge the slopes of rewriting. (“But, I want to do inspired writing,” the writer bemoans, “not pick-and-shovel work!”)
Check this before sending a manuscript to an editor.
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