Cleanup on Page Five

19 Mar

Today I’d like to dispel a nasty rumor that appears to have plagued the publishing world since the beginning of books: Your editor is not your own personal janitor.

It is not his/her job to clean up the mess you’ve made in your manuscript.  The more errors you make, the more revisions required.  The more revisions required, the higher the potential for additional errors and typos that may not be reviewed as closely before your work goes to print. 

If grammar isn’t your strong suit, have someone you know—like a former English teacher or favorite professor—preview your manuscript for errors before you move forward with a professional editor.  Otherwise, your editor will spend the majority of his/her time fixing silly mistakes instead of focusing on deeper issues that may be present throughout the story. 

When editing/proofreading your own manuscript, I’ve found it’s best to complete no more than a chapter or two in one focused session.  Otherwise, you’re liable to read the story instead of proofread it; text-weary eyes are more apt to glance over glaring errors.  Spend an exorbitant amount of time with just one page—it’ll pay off in the end.

I hashed through my manuscript with a fifth-grade grammar manual and a red pen before handing it off to my editor.  I also sent a copy to one of my favorite English teachers, a woman I’d credit with providing me the bulk of my knowledge of grammar, punctuation and aversion to words like “a lot” and “thing.” 

Yesterday, my editor returned the file, along with multiple suggested revisions and additions.  In the weeks to come, I’m going to be focusing on making those changes in order to hand over a [nearly] perfect copy to the printing press.  (My hope is that this task will take my mind off the fact that there are only 12 days left for me to raise funds with my Kickstarter  project)

 

As a completely unrelated side-note, I’d like to wish a happy birthday to the roommate.  Let’s chase some dreams.

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2 Responses to “Cleanup on Page Five”

  1. mikereverb March 19, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Well said!

    Reading a written work out loud is also a great way to catch typos and silly grammar mistakes.

    Good luck with publishing your book and getting that Kickstarter project funded (which I see are related), and thanks for sharing.

    • movingforeword March 19, 2012 at 8:33 am #

      That’s a great suggestion as well, Mike! Also, I appreciate the well wishes. Thank you 🙂

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