Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Editing, Revising and Polishing

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You've finished your manuscript. Yay! Congratulations! Take a day or two, sit back and relish in the accomplishment. Now the real work begins.

Editing, Revising and Polishing. It can be a never-ending process. Read your manuscript from front to back, go over every page with a fine tooth comb. Read it aloud, listen to the words. Does it flow well? Is the dialogue believable? Have you cut all unnecessary words and eliminated redundancies?

One of my biggest problems was adverbs and as the saying goes: The Road To Hell Is Paved With Adverbs! I'm not going to say I've been cured but an invaluable critique partner pointed out my nasty little compulsion for them. I'm not saying delete every adverb you find, but I found that most are unnecessary.

That leads to the next step in the editing process. Find a Critique Partner. They really are invaluable and some become wonderful friends. There are several sites on the internet where you can connect. One that I use is Agent Query Connect. It has a ton of information and the people you'll find there are always helpful. That's where I found two amazing CP's who have since become fantastic, valued friends.

Joining writing communities can be scary and sharing your manuscript with other people ... terrifying. Having family and friends read your manuscript can be helpful but what you need is a critique partner, someone who doesn't know and love you, someone who can be brutally honest.

Your emotions will run high and low, mine did. I read a Writer's Guide years ago that I thought prepared me. The author pointed out that every aspiring author thinks their book will be the new best seller, agents will fight over representation and publishers will offer big money for your ideas. The painful truth is that's just not so. There are hundreds of thousands of talented writers out there. But with a lot of hard work and the help of your invaluable CP's, you can make your manuscript the best it can be.

You think that was an emotional roller coaster and one to the scariest rides of your life? Not even close. Now it's time to start the querying process.

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