Lessons Learned: Editing Your Manuscript Before Publishing

The last few months I’ve spent hands down on the computer getting my next book “The Calling’s Return” completed. Writing the story is the easy part. Edits are the tedious part, but the most important task to do when publishing a book.

Once the story is written, I go through two edits before I send the manuscript to my editor. When she gets the manuscript, she will review/edit three times.

At the high level, the manuscript is read to determine if the story flows, if the scene makes sense, or if there’s anything missing. Is the right POV being used? Is there enough dialogue mixed in with description? Are the characters true to life?

And then there’s the detail level. This is where sentence structure is reviewed, if the right word is used, and if the sentence makes sense. This includes making sure no space is used after the period at the end of the paragraph and that each chapter title and spacing is consistent throughout the book.

Don’t think that you can skip this part. You can’t. Someone else has to review/edit your manuscript. And once the editor is done with her/his review, you need to review it again. I’ve read published books from traditional publishers with unacceptable errors (double words, cut sentences). Minor errors do occur, it’s hard to catch everything, but they should be few and far in between.

Edits are an important part of publishing a book, especially for self-published authors. And for me, I’m almost done with “The Calling’s Return” edits. My editor is on the final review, and then I’ll review one more time.

Beth M James

Novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

http://www.bethmjames.com

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Killing Malmon

 

In the last month, I read “Killing Malmon” featuring 30 Authors…One Victim. The book is edited by Dan and Kate Malmon and benefits MS. This was my bedtime story book, and I enjoyed reading the short stories on how to kill Dan. I’m sure Kate was fascinated too –  she’s Dan’s wife!

Killing Malmon

Killing Malmon

Kate has MS and this is their way of helping the MS Society by donating the royalties earned from their book to the cause. The stories are pretty creative and it’s amazing how many different ways you can kill one person! There’s a mix of humor, drama, jealousy, and total crime. If you have a chance, check out the book. Great stories and a great cause!

RT Convention Day Two

The conference has started and in full bloom. As one person stated, “The lobby is like a swarm of bees… a lot of bees.” I’ve connected with friends, readers, reviewers, and bloggers.

This year Tina and I are giving away a tote filled with our books and Wisconsin goods. We had some issues with trying to wrap the tote but we managed. Our tote will be raffled on Friday afternoon.

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After the day events of learning craft and social media, we went by busloads to Mardi Gras World. Our first event was the Grand Oaks Mansion for the Pirates, Scalawags and More party.

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Next, we followed a New Orleans second-line band to the warehouse where they store the Mardi Gras floats. One word…. amazing!! We lined up in front of the floats and watched a mini parade with, of course, beads tossed to all of us by the sponsors of the event. We finished at the hall where we sampled different New Orleans foods and listened/danced to a live band before heading back to the hotels.

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Second day was great. I heard a lot of people wonder how they (RT) were going to top this event. Thanks to all the sponsors – what a wonderful night!

Lessons Learned: Accomplished

A couple of weeks ago my daughter used this word to describe how she felt when she was lying in bed between her fiancé and her son as both of them snored. She never thought that she would feel so peaceful, being proud of her little family. And then after her statement was the words “Feeling accomplished.”

The word “accomplished” has stuck with me since her post. She described being happy, satisfied, content, loved, whole, and proud all at once. For her, the accomplishment came at one moment in time to describe her emotion. For authors, we love words like this to use when we write. Each word in a story has to have meaning. Writing one word can be more powerful than a dozen words describing the same thing.

Thank you, Willow. I bet I’ll be using “accomplished” in my next novel. 