If you are on your umpteenth read through of your manuscript, things are looking pretty familiar. You have said what you have wanted to say in the best way possible… or is it? Try these quick editing tips to make sure your writing is in its top form.
1. Random pages. Choose a page in your manuscript from the beginning, middle, and end. Read them separately and see if there is a difference in your writing. Can you strengthen weak descriptions or provide more colorful words so the reader experiences the scene they way you intended?
2. Print it Out. Take any chapter and print it out. Go and sit down with it separately from the device you created it on. I’m amazed at what I find when I have printed words in my hand rather than seeing them on a screen. Does the chapter stand on its own as a mini-story with a beginning and end? Does it move the plot forward?
3. Character Growth. Type a character name in the find box. What page are they introduced? Are each of their scenes providing growth for the character as well as the plot? This works well especially for secondary characters, as you can see their own story by reading just the scenes they are in.
4. Read Aloud. You have been asked to read one chapter at some important writer’s gathering. Pick a chapter and practice. By reading your words out loud you will pick up on messy phrases and words that don’t seem to flow. Change them before your name is called.
A great writer only comes that way by rewriting. Good luck.