9 Tips for Editing Your Manuscript
I'm very excited to have my first book published in March this year with Momentum. The team have been fantastic. But boy was the editing process an eye opener. I was expecting to have a few line edits and maybe they didn't like my character's names, but was a little overwhelmed when I received my manuscript full of red comments, track-changes marks every where and requests for modification. Ever had this experience?
After much cursing, swearing, and feeling like my book was going to be ripped apart, I successful downed a bottle of wine and stressed about the mammoth task ahead of me to meet the required deadlines.
Here's what I learned:-
1. IT"S NOT THAT BAD - Yes, my initial reaction was not a good one. But as I opened the document and took a closer look, most of the line edits were conversion of Australian English to American - Phew!
2. SOME TIMES YOU GOT TO SUCK IT UP - Yes, losing one of my character's POV's was tough, but writing the same scene in the other character's POV was quite easy to do. I hated letting one of my character's go ... but in hindsight there is some positive because it has given me great fodder for the sequel.
3. TURN OFF ALL SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL - Yes, do not even have these applications open to avoid distraction. Time was critical and I had no moment to waste as I initially thought I had to re-write my entire book in two weeks, but it was no where near that bad. I ended up having days to spare. Nice!!!
4. MAINTAIN VOICE - There were some expressions changed in the edits that just wasn't me or the way I would say things. I took advantage of the right to reject requested changes within my manuscript. When being edited by someone else, their way of writing may influence the edits and I tried to stick to my guns on certain things. All in all, the editor was fantastic in helping cleaning up some wafty description and tightening of some paragraphs to help improve the overall manuscript.
5. RESEARCH - ensure your facts are straight and clarify sequence of events if you have an intimate knowledge of the subject area. Sometimes you can educate the editor/reader ... just a little.
6. TALK TO EDITOR/PUBLISHER - They want your book to be the best it can be, so they are only too happy to help and nut out some of concern you may have.
7. SPELL CHECK - make sure you have your Word Processor set to the right country for spell checking.
8. EXERCISE - I spent so many hours in front of the computer editing that I barely got off my butt for a week. This was not good! My shoulders cramped up, my neck was sore, my fingers ached, I got calluses on the sides of my hands from resting on the laptop. I should have paid more attention of getting fresh air, going for a walk and stretching. Deep Heat lotion and massage were my lifesavers.
9. DRINK - Wine helped me through it all! And a lot of it!
First manuscript done and dusted. Now preparing for the launch. Yippee.
Propositions is out on March 26th, 2015. PRE-ORDER NOW - PROPOSITIONS