Posts Tagged ‘edit a manuscript’

It's Not Over Till the Editing is Done

This week I received the first edited manuscript for Sunshine Boulevard. My content editor, Karen McGrath, sent me her edited version of the ms done by using the Tracking option on Microsoft Word program. Oh, my goodness, but you should have seen the red boxes with deletions, insertions, and comments! Whoooo-eeeeeeeeee….Karen assured me this is what all authors have to go through and that mine was no worse than others.

Do you remember getting your red-inked English theme back from your sixth grade teacher? While that was a shock, opening up my ms file and seeing all the red boxes on the right side of the page with broken lines leading to the text took me back to those school years. Oh my.

When my heart slowed down and I could breathe again, I began reading through the ms. As I read, I noticed the flow of the story was smoother, the action was faster, a few words replaced several sentences. All of the things I love to do when I edit my writing. Hey, she made this script even better??

I now look at the trimmed down story as being on Word Watchers…a writer’s version of Weight Watchers.  I went over her changes and suggestions and added my own, then emailed the file back to her.

I did not realize that after turning in a ms I would be spending hours on revising it again. But I want to put out the best story for my readers and I appreciate Karen working with me to do that.  I am anxious to see what she sends back to me for the second edit and to learn about the process that Muse It Up Publishing uses to finish the ms in order to give the reader the very best reading experience.

Stay tuned. I’ll probably be whining again about the editing!!

Editing the Manuscript with the MS Word Find Tool

I did a pre-edit on my mystery novella, Sunshine Boulevard, last month. Karen McGrath, Muse It Up Publishing editor, sent a sheet full of words that need to be weeded out of the ms to avoid passive voice. Some of the 24 words to purge are just, that, had, but, and then, about, was, as, very were, has been, and so on.

I pulled up the Sunshine Boulevard file and  smugly clicked on the Edit tag in MS Word 2003 and scrolled to Find. Knowing that I would not be using the villainous word, just,  in my ms, I clicked on Find and typed in” just”. Lo and behold, there was a ton of them! Just imagine. I guess I just didn’t realize just  how much I unconsciously slipped it in. Just how crazy is that!

The Find feature is a life-saver for writers. If you discover you have misspelled a word throughout your manuscript or if you decide to change a character’s name from Sally to Martha, the Find tool will find it for you. If you want to replace it, just type in Sally then type in Martha for the replacement. Like magic the entire piece will be cleaned up for you. You may want to play with it a bit by using a small document instead of an entire novel’s manuscript at first.

I sent off the edited masterpiece shaking my head at what was an eye-opening experience for me. This exercise certainly helped point out my over-used words and allowed me to write stronger sentences. Now I can only imagine how much tighter and more focused my story will be after an editor looks it over. Looking forward to that!