Writers who have written a good portion of their memoir will sometimes begin to wonder if it is time to hire a professional to work with them. At this stage, they may ask me, “What’s the difference between proofreading and editing? And, how do I know which one I need?”
You have worked long and hard to write your memoir. You are ready to turn the computer off and receive the accolades you feel you deserve!
Wouldn’t it be great to have “There I’ve gotten it all out and that’s that with my memoir” be the same as “the story is ready to affect the reader”?
At some level, you are ready to move on, but, wait! is your memoir ready for its audience? Is what you have a penultimate draft rather than a ready-to-be-published manuscript? It may even be a very good draft but it’s probably not the finished manuscript you are hoping it is.
This is the time to work with an editor. Every writer ought to engage an editor before moving a manuscript on to the public. When you think your writing is completed, you probably need memoir editing. An editor will help you to identify and make the decisions you must make to bring the story, its theme and its promise, out in the open for all to appreciate. An editor will assess your pacing and shaping and help you tighten both.
The information in these posts will help you with these tasks. After you’ve read the posts, come over to our editing services pages and check out how The Memoir Network can help you to generate the best manuscript you are capable of.
Developmental editing contributes to developing a manuscript to its full potential.They can help you with project and planning how it will be published.
What a top editor does for you. People often ask, “What sort of input does an editing client receive from her/his Memoir Network editor?” The answer, of course, varies according to the client. No two receive the same response. We always individualize. You persist in asking, “Yes, yes, but what sort of manuscript input can […]
Memoir writers can achieve much alone. But, it is also true that working with a memoir professional can cut down the time it takes to produce a book of memoirs and can significantly jack up the quality.
All About the Memoir Editing Process
When I begin the memoir editing process with clients, I tell them that a proper editing requires three “read-throughs.” It is impossible to give a manuscript all the attention it deserves in one reading.
Reading a manuscript without doing any specific editing and forming only a general impression has always seemed a good idea in theory, but I have not found a way to do so that is economical. I have therefore evolved this concept of read-throughs as a memoir editing technique. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Note from the Editor: This third installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around time sequencing and flashbacks. For Part 1: Self-Editing Techniques Click here. For Part 2: Use of Time Click here.
A writer can effect these tips to bring a manuscript to a higher level of finish before sending the piece off to a professional editor. In this section, I write about use of time: specifically, cause and effect time sequencing and flashbacks. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Note from the Editor: This second installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around time use of time. For Part 1: Self-Editing Techniques Click here. For Part 3: Time Sequencing and Flashbacks Click here
Clean Up Your Use of Time
This second post on self-editing revolves around the use of time. In the next post, I will write about time sequencing and flashbacks.
1. The historical present looks like the past, but it isn’t.
What tense are you going to use to narrate your story?
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. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Clients will often come to me after having done a considerable amount of writing. Sometimes I will receive 200- and 300-page manuscripts. Among them are manuscripts that are really at the editing stage, but… There are too many that are still—in spite of their polished look on the page—in an early stage of development.
This post contains more useful information on how you can edit your own work before sending it to a professional editor. There is much you can do more effectively to save on fees.