Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Editing Your Manuscript: Stage 7

We’ve covered all the stages or steps of Editing Your Own Manuscript:
  • Stage 1: Put it aside
  • Stage 2: Edit by steps, not marathons
  • Stage 3: Let your baby go
  • Stage 4: Re-write some more
  • Stage 5: Read it aloud
  • Stage 6: Synopsize
What’s the final stage?
  • Stage 7: Move on, but keep in touch
Once you’re satisfied it’s ready to query, then start sending those letters out. The querying phase involves a lot of waiting, though, so use this time constructively. What’s constructive for you may not be the same for someone else. Some writers take a break, relax, work in the garden, do the dusting that’s piled up, play golf. Some plunge right into another book or writing project. Some read, do research, check to see if they still have a family.

If you’re consistently getting form rejection letters, then pull out your query letter and see if it needs to be rewritten. And every once in awhile, pull out the manuscript, especially those first few pages you’re sending out with the query, and re-visit them.

I would tell you that after you’ve done the Herculean task of writing the book then the long process of editing, it’s time to put it away and not re-visit it. You’ve done your best. But few authors can do that. Even after it’s in print and bound, authors say they’d like to change things.

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