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Have you ever wished you could edit your manuscript like a pro?  Well who doesn’t?  I have been reading some editing tricks and there are many out there.  Here are a few that some authors have shared:

1.  Try looking at your manuscript from an objective point of view.  (This is not so easy because this is your baby after all!)  But if you look at your novel like a publisher would then you will likely see what they do.  Even if you have had friends or family members read your book and have given you excellent reviews they are all biased.  Only because they know you and like you already.  A stranger reading your novel for the first time is getting to know you through your writing.  Your voice needs to be unique and not annoying. “The writer’s voice sells books. You don’t get there by selling one manuscript. It takes a lot of writing to find your rhythm. Steve sees glimpses of this in beginning manuscripts.” Read more: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/11/14/editing-novel-steve-parolini/

2. Track your changes to the manuscript so if you don’t like the new changes then you can easily revert back to the original.  “With a huge manuscript, it’s so important to see the changes in process, and to be consistent. Using the “Edit” and “Find” tabs, I can quickly find a key phrase I’m looking for, or a character’s name, and edit from there.  If your changes are major, your manuscript’s tracked edits may end up being more confusing than helpful.  What I’m doing with DRAWN, since my revisions revolve around a few very different issues, is I tackle one type of revision at a time.” – author, Maria Lamba – http://marielamba.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/tricks-for-editing-your-novel/    Maria Lamba gives some great advice in her post on editing and she was generous in her sharing her ideas.

3.  Read your novel backwards.  Okay this might sound weird but you get a different feel of the writing.  You might find mistakes with grammar and style.  There could even be inconsistencies with a character or the plot. “This stuff is important because you want your plot to make sense logically to  the reader, your characters need to stand out from one another and the  characters’ dialogue needs to be appropriate and distinct; you don’t want all  your characters to talk exactly the same because it’s boring to the reader.”
Read more:  http://writinghood.com/writing/basic-tips-for-editing-your-novel/#ixzz1iKCfwi9f

4. Take some time away from editing and give your self a break.  Sometimes having time to think on things helps you find any loose ends when you pick it up again to edit. “Can an edit ever be finished? A book can be considered unfinished forever and you can continue making changes over and over again. But at some point the writer/publisher must decide that it is done. There is a process through rewrites, editing, proof reading, beta readers, line edit, copy edit etc but eventually it has to be put out there.” http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/11/14/editing-novel-steve-parolini/

Hopefully this gives you an idea on how important it is to edit before you pitch your idea to an agent/publisher.  I know when I have received a rejection letter from an agent it wasn’t until I read my query letter I understood why.  I had written some things that were a big turn off  to this agent.  Not offensive.  But something she felt would not fit in the category for which I was writing.  It is good to look at everything with a critical eye.  Because you can bet that someone else you sent it to is.

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Have you ever wondered how some authors have come up with their ideas?  I have and found that most just dream it up.  While others take from other authors and expand upon their ideas.  I think I have read more Terry Brooks, Brandon Mull, Angie Sage and Dean Koontz, when it comes to reading fantasy.  I like to read novels that parallel mine.  I know my novels are not published (yet) but they were written before I even read some of the books on my list of “read” for Goodreads.

I try to find time during the day to write a little.  Either I will work on editing or the storyline.  I am not an authors who sits in a cafe sipping coffee typing away on my laptop.  No I am just a mother, of several loud children, who tries to find time in the day when I am not interrupted and it is fairly quiet. I like to read a lot and sometimes I just read my own work to see how it flows.

There is a book written by Stephen King on how to write.  He explains his own writing process and I loved how he uses his own experiences for his inspiration behind his novels.  I wrote a couple of short stories for a children’s magazine and they were inspired by my children.  They were cute and short.  Perfect for a magazine.

My next goal in writing fantasy is to sometimes just take a break from it and come back when I feel refreshed.  Sitting for a long period of time in front of a computer doesn’t help and I end up feeling more frustrated.  It is all about trying to stay focused when your in the zone and then write until you can’t write anymore.

Flyte

Flyte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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