Confessions of an ‘indie’ publisher (part 5)

Scarborough Mysteries

So you’ve got a manuscript which is pretty much novel length, following a long (or not so long) process of writing, getting feedback, writing some more, researching, resting, writing…. Now what? The next steps are preparing the manuscript for publishing through editing, copy-editing and proof-reading. Some people appear to think these steps are inter-changeable, they are not, though they may merge into each other.

A good editor will look at the manuscript and begin to mould it with an audience in mind. A good editor will be a very, very discriminating reader. They will look at: the narrative as a whole; at the way characters develop (or do not); at whether dialogue is realistic enough; at the balance between action and scene setting; at pace; at the beginning, the ending and the notoriously soggy bits in the middle in order to try to firm them up; and so on. A…

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