Did you participate in the NaNoWriMo (Write a Novel in a Month) this November? Now what? Do you plan to trash it and chalk it up as experience? Or do you feel it is something worth publishing?
If you hope to find a publisher or if you want to self-publish, there’s still a stringent process you should follow before introducing your book to the world (or even to your niche readers). First, you’ll want to go through the manuscript many, many times looking for mistakes and areas that would confuse the reader. A total or partial rewrite is almost always required, especially if you are new to writing. If you’re not sure, let friends read your manuscript and listen to their candid comments. Next, you need to put your manuscript through a self-editing process. Here are some of the things you’ll want to watch for:
• Punctuation mistakes. It is now one space between sentences, for example. Many people have trouble using the apostrophe correctly and creating the em dash.
• Repeated words. Your writing is fresher when you vary your use of words and, by the way, the style and length of sentences.
• Instances where you use the wrong person or place name. Often, authors decide to change a character’s name or the name of a place in midstream. Be sure to make the change throughout the manuscript.
• Clichés. While one of your characters might rely on clichés in his dialogue, you’ll want to keep your writing fresh.
• Inconsistencies in your story or your way of presenting it.
• Muddy writing, run-on sentences and other such problems.
• For a novel, avoid telling the story—you want to show it through action and dialog.
• For nonfiction, make sure your organization is logical and easy to follow.
Once you have corrected everything you know how to correct through your self-editing process, turn your manuscript over to an experienced book editor. This does not mean your former high school English teacher or a co-worker who is good with words. Hire a book editor to do your final edit. And plan to pay him or her somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 to $3,000, depending on the project—length of manuscript, problems occurring in the manuscript and so forth.
FYI, I edit book manuscripts and I can help you fine-tune your book proposal. (Why do you need a book proposal? Find out in tomorrow’s blog post.) I will give you a sample edit on a few pages and an estimate (FREE). If you like free, download my FREE ebook, 50 Ways to Prepare for Publishing Success. This is an excellent follow-up to this blog post. http://www.patriciafry.com
For your FREE sample edit and estimate, contact me, Patricia Fry, here: PLFry620@yahoo.com