Thursday, 29 July 2010
Milaya is talking Self-Editing!!
Please welcome Milaya Marks to my site today - she is here to share a few invaluable self-editing tips and ways to sit our butts in the chair and polish each baby we create...take it away, Milaya!
Five Easy Steps for Self-Editing
Making sure your manuscript is as polished as possible is hugely important when it’s time to submit your work. But if you’re like me then it’s the writing you enjoy the most, with edit-ing a very far second. The next time you’ve got to self-edit your story, use these five easy steps to get the job done quickly and easily.
1. Let Your Writing Rest
Taking time off from a manuscript, even if it’s only a few days, is imperative. Not only does it give your mind time to mull over plot problems, but it allows you to return to your writing with fresh eyes. You’ll be more likely to spot errors or inconsistencies when you’ve come back to a manuscript after some time away.
2. Run Grammar And Spell Checks
This is so easy it should be a crime for writers to skip this step (and for many edi-tors/publishers, it is). Run grammar and spell checks. That’s it.
3. Read Your Work Out Loud
Reading your work out loud allows you to hear the rhythm of your writing and experience it in a new way. You will be more likely to catch things like typos, missing words and run-on sentences when you’re reading out loud rather than skimming through paragraphs quickly.
4. Find Next
The “find next” function (usually in the “edit” drop-down menu of your word processing programme) is invaluable if you are the type of writer who uses the same words over and over. Simply type in the word you’re targetting, find next and let the function guide you through each use in the entire manuscript. Keep a thesaurus handy so you can make changes as you go.
5. Focus On the Story You’re Telling
It can be easy to lose the forest for the trees when you’re focusing on individual words or sentences, but don’t forget about plot. Ask yourself if the story you’re telling is consistent, makes sense and touches on the issues or emotions you intended. Creating your own story bible to track things like character details, locations, time period information and slang/vocabulary, and refer back to it during editing as well as writing.
Self-editing may never be fun, but it gets easier the more you do it. Practice makes per-fect and all that, so get out your red pen and get busy!
Milaya Marks's devotion to romance began early, when she read every teen romantic fic-tion she could get her hands on. In love with the idea of being in love, she graduated to historicals and contemporaries not long after. She had her own fairytale romance and to-day is living her dream of writing steamy erotic romances while enjoying life with her very own hot hero. Her debut release, Spanish Heat, is out now. Visit Milaya online at www.milayamarks.com
Loved the article, Milaya! We all need every self-editing tips we can get our hands on! Milaya and I would love to hear any comments or tips you'd like to share...