Open Blog Weekend: Preparing for the Editing process by Working Mama Media
Preparing your manuscript for editing takes a little hard work. Preparing yourself is even harder.
To begin preparing your manuscript, you want to do some basic editing on your own. First, run your manuscript through spell check. I know this seems like something basic, but you would be surprised at how many writers forget this important step in the process.
The next step in preparing your manuscript for editing should be reading it out loud. I know-you may not be ready for anyone to hear your work yet. You don’t have to read it to anyone. You can catch a lot of errors when you read your piece out loud. That’s an important step in our editing process. You will find places where you need commas, and sentences that are way too long. When you hear dialogue, it sounds different, so you may need to tighten that up a bit. Grab a glass of water or tea before you start; you’ll need it. You can expect that reading it out loud will take many hours, so you should plan to spread that over a few days.
Finally, make sure that you have a few people read your work. This step is called beta reading, and it’s just as important as everything else. First, your beta readers are likely to catch any typos you missed that spell check didn’t pick up, like read/red or were/where. A beta reader is also likely to notice if a minor character was named Mary in one chapter and Emily in another. Finally, a beta reader is going to be able to notice any issues in continuity. Your beta readers should be part of your writing group, if you have one, or good friends who love to read and will give you honest feedback.
Once you’ve made those changes, you’re ready to hand your book baby over to an editor. We know that handing over your book baby to just anyone is a risky proposition for you! You’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into this book-and sometimes, that’s literal! Even if you haven’t actually bled for your book, it’s something that you’ve dedicated months, and maybe even years, to, and you want to make sure that you’re entrusting it to the right people.
At Working Mama Media, we’re authors, too. We know what it means to have a finished manuscript ready to go to an editor. We know how important it is that you get along with your editor, and how important it is that your editor be firm, without being mean. Because we’ve been there. We would love to help guide you through the editing process.
We provide services from light copy editing to full developmental edits. We’ll even give you a test run, so that we can make sure that we work well together. Sometimes, incredible writers and amazing editors just don’t click, and finding the right one is part of the process. To help that process along, we’re prepared to edit up to 2000 words for you, for free. This gives us the chance to show you what we can do, and lets you know if we’re the type of editor you need. You can read more about our editing services here