Thursday, January 8, 2009

Self -Editing Improves Manuscript for Publishing

RJ Note: Becoming an author certainly sounds fun. Of course, I am published in print for all eternity. I do wonder if this book idea in my head could actually be put on paper. What about you?

/24-7/ -- A writer who wants to publish often entrusts manuscript enhancement to expensive third-party editors. However, no one can do the first round of improvements better than the person who can best keep the written ideas closest to the original: the author.

Drawn below is EDIT. These are practical tips for a writer to self-edit before giving the manuscript to a publishing company. The acronym makes the guidelines easier to remember as a writer plans about how to get a book published.

Eliminate. Get rid of improper words and replace them with accurate ones needed to convey the message. To get the most precise word that describes an idea, it is best to use a thesaurus. When in doubt of the meaning of a word, consult a dictionary. Even if already repeatedly used, a word may imply another meaning when taken in a different context.

Try to eliminate the negatives. Using the word "not" is sometimes effective for emphasis. Nevertheless, sentences written in a positive tone are generally better and stronger than negative ones.

Design check. Another way of self-editing a manuscript is to check the design of the sentences. This means looking at structure, construction and even figures of speech.

Watch for passive sentences. It is always clearer to express an idea when sentences are in active rather than in passive voice. The subject-verb-object structure describes action rather than illustrates situations and this provides readers with an easier understanding of what a writer wants to tell.

Keep an eye for the right punctuation marks and avoid complex sentences as much as possible.

Be consistent and careful in using figures of speech: they must be within the context of the descriptions. Do not confuse readers by comparing something to a forest only to associate it later to an ocean. Using figures of speech is for a purpose, not just for a play on words. Use them creatively and logically.

Inspect. Thoroughly examine each sentence for accuracy of grammar and spelling. Check out your word processor for this application but be watchful in applying the changes to your manuscript.

Test. A writer must test how the message sounds by reading the manuscript aloud. This allows revision of awkward phrasings and avoids redundancy.

These are the four handy self-editing tips that are vital to the publishing process. To complete your publishing journey, you may request a free book publishing guide.

For more information, please visit http://www.xlibris.com/requestkit/index.asp?src=apr&key=rc , e-mail pressrelease@xlibris.com or call at 1-888-795-4247, to receive a free publishing guide.

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