How do you know when you're done editing?
That's the age-old question.
Truth is, you are never really done editing. And after you get a literary agent and editors, more edits will be made.
After my manuscript was polished--like agent-ready--I had one friend who didn't believe me. When everyone else was as excited as I was, he questioned me. And I was almost upset by it, but after speaking with him, I knew why he didn't believe me. He'd seen me work countless hours editing my book for the last two months--I even changed my title a few times. There was one point when he asked if I'd ever stop editing it, and I told him the truth. I simply said, "No."
Because if you're really dedicated to your manuscript, editing is always an option, no matter what.
So here are a few checkpoints that I've collected from various sites and books that will help you get your manuscript agent-ready.
Also, I would go ahead and suggest buying Carly Watter's book, Getting Published in the 21st Century. She's an agent who know's what she's talking about, and the price of the book is fairly cheap. So worth it!
-- Step one: Have you had a beta/critique reader? If not, you've got soo much work to do. Refer here.
-- Step two: Have you killed your darlings? If you're unfamiliar with this quote by William Faulkner, like I once was, you're not alone. Basically, a "darling" is an author's personal/favorite element. This may hold special meaning for the writer, but for the reader it's just annoying gibberish.
--Step Three: If you haven't yet, check out Kristen Lamb's blog. Here, she helps writers identify the over-kill of adverbs, physiology, stage direction, and alien-body movements.
--Step Four: Are the voices of your character's easy to point out? Is it too forced, or not there at all?
--Step Five: Are there places in your manuscript that you keep second guessing? Maybe you should cut it out completely, or have a second pair of eyes go over it.
--Step Six: Lastly, does your beginning and ending work? Does the beginning start with a hook and a conflict that rears the reader in? Does that plot line carry to the ending? Does the book actually end? Are the problems SOLVED? These are things you need to consider if you want your book to be round in the right places.
I hope this helps. I know all the links on this page have helped me the most. Here's the last link. This has a huge, more in-depth check list.
Till next time blog world.
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