Revising your manuscript or document is essential to deliver the best writing that you can. In this third part of the article Revising Your Copy, you will learn three more questions that you need to ask during the revising process. In the first part of this article, you learned to ask 7 basic questions to eliminate errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.
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?
5. Have I followed an outline?
6. Am I using the right word to describe something?
7. Have I read straight through for content.
8. Is my format consistent? If you start each chapter with a quote, do you follow this throughout? If you write your chapter headings with numbers or with words, make sure you are consistent. Consider your fonts and point sizes and make sure they are consistent throughout. Check your heads and subheads. Are they bold or italicized, flush right or centered?
9. Is it necessary? This may be hardest thing for a writer to face. It requires great courage and fortitude. When you look at a scene, a chapter, a character, a phrase, ask yourself, “is this necessary?” Does it move the idea or the plot forward? Does it add support or just fill space? If it were not there, would it change the tone, the meaning, or the structure? Unnecessary prose can bog down the pace of your manuscript or document.
10. Do I need to revise again? Once you have done a thorough read-through and made revisions, print out a new draft and repeat steps 1-9. If this revising process appears difficult or unnecessary, think about what a sculptor or painter goes through to create a masterpiece. The sculptor makes large cuts first, and then smaller and smaller cuts, until the sculpture begins to take shape. It is then ready for the refining process. The more that you revise and edit your work, the closer you are to creating the manuscript or copy you envision.
Blue Skies, Eli, my sweet one – RIP.
Kaine Thompson is an author, editor, speaker, and book coach. She holds a Master’s degree in writing and serves as faculty at the University of Phoenix where she teaches writing and communication. E-maginative Writing provides editorial services and private coaching for individuals, authors and entrepreneurs who want to write books (including e-books and memoirs).