So, you can't afford an editor? are you going it alone? Or you want to make your editor's job easier? As an editor myself, here are my suggestions.
1) Font and structure:
It is important that you choose a readable font for your readers (and / or editor, proofreader, betareader).
Equally important, don't forget those pesky paragraphs. Basically, if something changes, start a new paragraph! Nobody likes huge chunks of text, even the most dedicated bookworms among us.
2) Overused words:
We all have them. All authors have a word or two that they know they use far too often. This is okay, if they are aware of this. They can add it to the list of things to look out for when going through the editing stages. Not sure what your words are? Ask a friend, family member, or better yet, fellow author, to read your manuscript! Tip: you can search for words in Word to see how many times you used them. Commonly overused words are: very, great, good, bad, that, had, was.
Your book opens with a flashback. A blue car crashes, killing the protagonist's husband.
Later in the story, the man thinks of his late husband, and how he died in their red car. Wait, what?
You must know your story inside and out. If there is anything you think could mess you up and cause an inconsistency, make a note of it as you a) write the story, and b) edit the story
4) Flow and pace:
You want to be in complete control of the book's flow and pace. So, the story should flow evenly. Depending on your genre, you should mix normal but interesting scenes with mind-blowing / scary / tense / thrilling scenes.
The pace should be different in each type of scene. Long sentences for a slower, calmer, perhaps character-building or significant moment, and short sentences for a tense, exciting, unnerving, on-edge part.
this is so simple, but most of my clients are guilty of missing words that should have an apostrophe:
- isnt / isn't
- havent / haven't
Another little tip, check you are using the following words in the right context:
- where, were, we're
- they, there, they're, their
- was, were
I hope these editing tips are helpful. For more marketing and writing tips, check out our author blog:
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