In this second part of the article Revising Your Copy, you will learn the questions you need to ask during the revising process. Asking the right questions will ensure that your book is the best that you can make it.
1. Is my copy free of misspellings?
2. Is my copy grammatically correct? Have I used proper punctuation?
3. Do I have strong topic sentences?
4. Are my transitions between paragraphs logical and consistent?
Often the final sentence in a paragraph serves to transition to the next idea or paragraph. If there is no logic to this transition, you might have shifted focus or missed an important point that needs to be added.
5. Have I followed an outline?
If you did not make an initial outline when you started writing your book, it’s not too late to create one. This may help you create logical progressions between your ideas, topics and chapter headings. You may find that you need to reorder things so that you don’t lose your reader. Don’t assume the reader can make the same jumps in logic.
6. Am I using the right word to describe something?
Don’t be afraid to be creative with using new “big” words, but be careful that you aren’t being too crafty. Sometimes the more simple or plain word is better suited. Words have subtle nuances so make sure you are using them correctly in the sentence. If you aren’t familiar with the meaning of the word, it is best to select one that you do know.
If you want to increase your vocabulary and master the English language, add a new word to your conversation every week.
7. Have I read through the entire document or manuscript?
You’ve written it, but have you read it straight through? Print a copy of your manuscript or document. Take time to read it straight through. With a marking pen, note anything that appears awkward or unclear. Don’t stop to fix it at this point. This is a read-through. Barrel along and fearlessly mark things that strike a wrong note. If an idea is weak, just note it in the margin. If a character is inconsistent, note where this occurs. (This could be physical descriptions or personality traits.) Note overly complex sentences and over-the-top descriptions. If you get tired reading, imagine how your reader will feel.
Next week, I will continue this article and provide 3 more important questions that will help you revise successfully.
E-maginative Writing provides editorial services and private coaching for individuals, authors and entrepreneurs who want to write books (including e-books and memoirs).