Final Stages of Self-Editing Part 2

In Monday's post we covered Steps 1-5 of Final Stages of Editing; today we'll finish up and focus on the remaining points.

If you missed it, click on the link:
Final stages of Self-Editing Part 1

Final Stages of Self-Editing Steps 6-10:

6. Check formatting
Now it’s time to check the formatting of the manuscript.

Are your paragraphs all indented with proper punctuation?

Did you use the Show/Hide function in your word processor to check the inner workings. For instance, years ago the proper spacing between sentences was two spaces. Now, the protocol is one space between sentences. The Show/Hide function displays a dot for each space.

Is your manuscript double spaced?

Did you use the correct formatting for dialogue?

7. Get your manuscript edited
When you think it’s perfect, have it edited before you start submitting it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you think this step is overkill, and it will cost money. You’re right on the second part, it will cost money, but it will be money well spent.

No matter how many times you self-edit, and how many times your critique group goes over your manuscript, there will be errors. Ask around for a reputable editor.

8. Create a log line

A log line or pitch line is a one sentence description or your manuscript. This may take a bit of trial and error.

9. Create a synopsis

A synopsis is a short description of your story. Your writing should be tight and focused--leave out the fluff. The content should be self-edited and proofread before sending it off to an agent or publisher. You are trying to grab the reader's attention and let the reader know that you are grammar literate.

Basically, the synopsis should briefly let the editor know what the book is about: the beginning of your story, your main character/s needs or wants, how he strives to reach his goals, the obstacles/conflicts in his way, and how he overcomes the conflicts moving forward to the final outcome.

I read an interesting article recommending that your synopsis should be created using your detailed outline.

10. Create a query letter or proposal

 A query is a sales pitch. It should be three paragraphs and only one page long. The first paragraph quickly and interestingly describes the story; it’s the hook. The second paragraph tells a bit about you, your qualifications for writing the book. And, it’s a good idea to include a bit on how you intend to help market the book. The third paragraph is the conclusion; keep it short.

11. Final Step: Submissions

Okay, your manuscript is polished and shiny, now it’s time to submit. But, hold on . . . check each publisher’s guidelines before you submit.

In fact, don’t just check the guidelines, you need to study them, and follow them implicitly. If a publisher asks for submission by mail only, don’t email your submission. If the word count on an article or story is up to 1000 words, don’t submit a story with 1150 words.

There is just so much involved with self-editing, and as I keep learning new tricks I'll pass them along.

Related Articles:

What is Your Story’s Theme?
Writing for Children – The Traditional Publishing Path


Karen Cioffi Freelance Writer
For Businesses and Individuals


Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Karen, thank you for sharing part 2 of the Final Stages of Self-Editing. Thanks for the reminder in #6 of one space in between sentences. I always seem to forget that one.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Susanne,

It took me a while to get use to the one space deal.

Thanks for stopping by!