Editing Part 2

I have already given five suggestions on editing your manuscript before sending it out. Here are five others. I hope they will help you create material that is the best you can make it. You owe it to yourself, and to the agents and editors to whom you send the material. Make your work the best it can be!

6. Is there a conclusion to your story? I don’t mean it has to be “happily ever after” but make it as powerful as you can. I once threw a book across the room after I read the last pages. I hated the conclusion but I have never forgotten the book! Ramblings do not a story make. They are simply, well… ramblings.

7. Do you have sub-plots? There should be one major plot in your story with a few sub plots. Your story may be about a boy’s goal to be on the football team. Other sub-plots could be a bully who wants to see he doesn’t make the team. Another could be about his family going through a difficult time because the father has lost his job. Remember, these sub-plots should not be your major emphasis. They are only their to add dimension to your story. Do be careful that you don’t have so many sub-plots that your reader gets confused.

8. Has your protaganist changed by the end of your story? Does she/he learn something, grow in some way, or accomplish some goal? If they do, it leaves the reader more satisfied.

9. Have you tied all the loose ends up? If you write a character into your story who is running for an office in school, you must make some kind of conclusion to this before the story ends. If you don’t your reader will be saying, “But, what about (add name)? Did they win the election? Leaving loose ends frustrates your reader. It can also make them pass on reading any of your other books.

10. Does your story have drama? The likelihood of getting published spike dramatically if you are adept at adding drama and suspense to your story. Go through the chapters of your book. Does the story compel the reader to turn the next page. If not, they probably won’t.

While all these things take time and effort on your part, they are essential to your manuscript being sold. Get sloppy and not edit your material and see how many of those manuscripts wind up in a box in your closet or a drawer of your desk. What a waste of your time and effort that would be!

Editing so I can craft the best story, Gloria

P.S. There are at least three error in this post. Can you find them? If you find more, maybe I should add another to our list. Let someone else read your manuscript to find errors you miss! 😀

 Contributed by Gloria Stockstill

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11 responses to “Editing Part 2

  1. Marjorie Flathers

    Hi Gloria,

    I found SIX errors in this post, listed by the numbers in it.
    #6—should be a comma between the words “conclusion,” and “but”
    #7—“their” should read “there”
    #8—you used “he/she” (singular pronouns) and “they” (plural) to refer back to it. Pronouns should agree, singular or plural.
    #10—“likelihood of getting published spike” should read “spikes”
    #10—Again no agreement–“reader”is singular and “they” is plural—should read “he or she”

    Next to last paragraph—“get sloppy and not edit”—should read “get sloppy and don’t (or do not) edit”

    This was fun to do, and remember—-you asked for it!
    Marge

  2. gloriastockstill

    Marge, great job!
    I put the mistakes there deliberately. Let’s see if anyone else finds more than you did.

    Gloria

  3. gloriastockstill

    Help! I found another error! I’m sooo glad that I have Marge, Marilyn and others in my critique group who keep my errors to a minimum.

    Writers, learn a lesson from this post!!
    Gloria

  4. Shirley Shibley

    ha, ha, Gloria–very funny!

    Shirley

  5. Shirley Shibley

    Very quickly–no ‘s’ after error, your hyphens were not consistent.

    Shirley

  6. Sherri Crawford

    Gloria – I’m not commenting on your helpful article beyond this sentence—too afraid I’ll make mistakes!
    Sherri

  7. Gloria McQueen Stockstill

    Sherri, Thanks for your mercy! I commented on the errors on my other writers’ blog. Most embarassing. Oh, well. Humbling experiences are good, right?

    Gloria

  8. Valerie Koukal

    Hi Gloria! I was just glad to discover that your errors were there on purpose! Haha! Good test!!! And I love your tips on plots, sub-plots, loose ends, etc. Thank you for those important insights!

  9. gloriastockstill

    Valerie, some were there deliberately, some not. I have learned a humbling lesson. CHECK YOUR MANUSCRIPT!
    So glad you looked past the errors and saw the value of the post!
    Gloria

    Gloria

  10. Hey, Gloria, I loved this. Especially the reminder about using sub plots. Not if I can only apply it!

  11. Brilliant!

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