It takes a lot of work to write a manuscript, but it is hella lot more work editing a manuscript. I finished the final draft of my manuscript for Scout’s Honor last April. I had already gone though and edited, copy edited, reworked and rewrote parts after my beta readers offered their suggestions. Then I submitted the manuscript. Well, ever since I signed a contract back in June, I have been editing it – again – and with an editor.
Last week, I sent off the 2nd huge edit, and to me, other than final read throughs…this puppy is done. It has been edited to death. This last edit, however, seemed to take me so much longer and had me doubting my work, fixing things that I long believed had been fixed.
One of the most helpful ways in which to edit a manuscript – or anything, really – is by reading it out loud. Or if you live in a house with other people, and you don’t want to sound like a crazy person, read out loud quietly. It helps keep your eyes focused, it helps you catch a stray typo, it helps you hear whether or not a sentence makes sense. Another thing that I found out it does is that it helps you see unnecessary words or repetitive words.
I went through the whole thing, and after thinking that I had already done this, found that I needed to slash an awful lot. My word count went down by 1,000 words just because I read things out loud.
No matter how you go through your own personal editing process, do what works for you. But reading out loud might help you edit your work in a way that you haven’t yet experienced. It might help you find flaws that you otherwise cannot find. Give it a try!
I pushed Send…and it was a great feeling.