Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
It’s not a waste of time to finish a first novel, to practice your writing skills with that first novel manuscript, even if it will never be published. But know that the first novel will not be a masterpiece.
Tips for using beta readers to help strengthen your manuscripts before publication or submission to agents and editors.
Including the words “The End” on the final page of a manuscript is a good idea. The visual keeps readers, including agents and editors, from guessing what the story’s final words are.
A quick guide to manuscript clean-up. By the time you need these tips, you should have worked through multiple drafts of your story. The manuscript should also have been edited—by you or others—and proofed—also by you or others.
Chapter endings have at least two purposes—to look back at what’s already happened and look forward to what might happen. Both characters and readers benefit from the dual purposes of chapter endings.
Writers can’t write novels of any length, not if they want to be published traditionally. Word count is important, especially for the first-time novelist.
You’re ready for submission, but is your manuscript? Take one final pass through your story using these tips to help with last-minute cleanup.
I don’t take on every manuscript that’s sent to me for editing. The simple reason is that many are not ready for a professional edit. A look at my reasons for turning down an edit.
Editors bring both skill and artistry to their craft. But sometimes you just need a list of reminders about what to check on in an edit. This is a checklist appropriate for both the professional and the writer who self-edits.