Category Archives: Editing

Proofreading Top 10 checklist

Suzanne Rogerson Fantasy Author

Proofreading is one of the hardest stages of writing for me. I love drafting and editing, but to read each word and sentence and analyse it’s components is difficult. It’s too scientific for my creative brain, but an important process that needs to be done before considering publication.

Back in August last year, I devised a checklist to tackle the final proofread of Visions of Zarua. My original post was here.

Looking back, I’m quite pleased with it as a ‘how to’ guide. It worked brilliantly for me, but I do have to warn you that a couple of tiny errors still slipped past this stage (slap wrist). Luckily with KDP & Createspace it’s a simple matter of updating the corrected file and within 24 hours the revised book is on sale. However, we should all aim to produce the best book we possibly can from the start and there really is no…

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Typos: When Are They Acceptable?

Quoth The Wordsmith

Typos and ErrorsTypos. Everyone makes them. Editors, writers, communications professionals, teachers, and just about everyone else in between. They can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright awkward. But sometimes they can do more that cause you to flush and send a quick correction.

Sometimes, typos can make or break a job application, or cause a reader to leave you a negative review. But how do you know when you should do an extensive edit and when you’re OK to worry a little less about the technical side of things? I mean, coming from a writer and editor, it’s just about impossible to produce error-free content every time.

First, let’s start with the difference between a typo and amateur writing. A typo is when you make a mistake, like typing “dacning” instead of “dancing”, or missing a single letter in a word by accident, like “smeling” instead of “smelling”. Common mistakes are acceptable in…

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How to Critique – General Feedback

Shadows in the Corner


General Feedback Broken Down
Here I’m going to talk about very specific things and how I think it’s best to deal with them.  I’ll try to give short explanations about all of these as best I can manage.

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Manuscript Revision – Advice From A Pro

Great advice!

A Writer of History

The First Five Pages by Noah LukemanNo, I’m not the pro, but Noah Lukeman is. Lukeman is the author of The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. As an experienced literary agent based in New York City whose clients include Pulitzer prize nominees and New York Times bestselling authors, Noah Lukeman knows a thing of two about finding top-notch manuscripts to represent. And he presents his advice simply and succinctly, using lots of examples to illustrate his points.

I’ve been revising Time & Regret so a book designed to help writers stay off the rejection pile seemed an excellent one to reread. I thought some of you might be interested in the notes I took as a result. Today’s post will be part one of two.

Overuse of adjectives and adverbsavoid the use of common adverbs or adjectives and the use of adjectives or adverbs when a stronger…

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Think big as you revise your manuscript with these nine steps


You say you’re revising your draft, but are you really? In the past, I’ve thought I was revising a manuscript when in fact I was really just editing it.

A revision is just that: a “re-visioning” of the story – looking at it in a whole new way. It’s easy to think you’re revising when what you’re really doing is making small edits, reworking sentences, and tightening up scenes and dialogue. Those things are important but don’t go far enough to truly create a publishable manuscript.

Instead, when you’re ready to dive into revisions, think big. Open your mind and pen to rethink every aspect of your manuscript.

To move into re-vision mode, consider these questions:

  1. Use a logline to maintain focus. A logline is one sentence (at most two) that conveys the dramatic story of your novel or screenplay boiled down in the most succinct way possible. It presents…

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When is a Book Manuscript Ready to Send to Agents or Publishers?

Writer's Resource Blog

Chuck Sambuchino, who writes for Writer’s Digest, offers three primary reasons why manuscripts are rejected by agents:

First…the story they’re reading is in a genre or category outside of what they handle. Form rejection. The second reason they say no is because of poor writing skills: grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. Form rejection. The third and most common reason that good writers get rejected is that their story just plain isn’t ready yet. In other words, it’s good—but simply being good doesn’t cut it. A piece of fiction has to be great to catch an agent’s eye.

Each of these issues has a solution.

First, research the agent before submitting. There are a host of resources out there, including the annual guides to agents and book publishers. Always go to the agent’s website to look up information about that agent. While you’re there, check out their fellow agents to…

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My Favorite Books About Writing Nonfiction

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

41lhhayQO9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I always love reading about writing. I caution students about spending so much time reading about it that they never actually do it, but these books in particular have been invaluable in shaping my own approaches to writing. Some of them focus on nonfiction specifically, while many are great for any kind of writing:

The Artful Edit, by Susan Bell: I use this every time I do a self-edit on a manuscript. It’s also a fun book to read straight through. She uses the editing process for The Great Gatsby — detailed in letters between Fitzgerald and his editor — to show how editing makes everything better.

The New New Journalism, by Robert Boynton: Interviews with all the rock stars of current creative nonfiction — Ted Conover, Erik Larson, Susan Orlean. This is like a fan magazine for nerds like me.

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron: 

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Quick Tips: Self-Editing Your Book

Crownless Publications

Editing your manuscript for


The temptation to release our finished creations on the public is strong. This is the Dark Side. First, you have to edit that beast.

After the joys of writing, many find spell checking their work pretty tedious stuff. Unfortunately it is just so important. Many self published eBooks have been sunk on that one review, amid a sea of praise, that simply states: ‘I liked it but the spelling and grammar was awful.’

You may, or may not, be surprised about the number of manuscripts we look at that are woefully unedited. On the upside, if you are releasing your book into the online market, by thoroughly editing your work you are already better than a few of your potential competitors. Editing just makes good business sense.

Tip One: Leave it alone!

I am a firm believer in this. You’ve probably read your manuscript a thousand…

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