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memoir editing process

Memoir Editing Process–How Memoir Editing Works

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. ]

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self-editing techniques

Before Sending a Manuscript To An Editor / Part 1–Self-Editing Techniques

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.

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.

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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memoir coaching or editing

How Memoir Coaching or Editing Works

There’s often only a permeable line between memoir coaching and editing. In practice, as we writers at the Memoir Network work with a writer, we find myself slipping from coaching a memoir writer to editing the manuscript we are working with and back to coaching. That’s how organically close coaching and editing really are. Depending on the state of your manuscript, coaching or editing or both are called for.

Choosing memoir coaching or editing–How it works

Generally, I, or the editor who has been assigned to you, read sections of your manuscript—say 20-30 pages—and return this edited portion to you with comments and suggestions—and sometimes edits [also known as suggested corrections]. All our notes are done in Microsoft Text Edit—which you can learn in minutes. Manuscripts are returned as an attachment—but snail mail can work well, too, but it is too slow for most people.

I find working on a short segment of your manuscript—20- to 30 pages—to be more effective for contributing to the quality of the memoir than reading the entire text. Sometimes, of course, I have a question on, say, page 17 and then you might protest, “But, this is answered on page 85! You haven’t read the whole manuscript yet!” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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