Imagination to Polished Manuscript, Part Five


It’s a pain in the neck.  Literally.  Hate it.  Besides despising the necessary mechanics involved, by the time I reach this phase I’m so sick of the story I want to just chuck it.


That is the ugly truth.

But, I’m not at the point where I can just toss it to a paid editor, along with a fat check, and gleefully move on to the next story.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  Much is learned during adversity, you know.  Still stinks though.

I make yet another list.  It’s a mom thing.  Moms write lists.  Tons of lists.  ‘Cause we have to keep track of a bazillion details for a whole pack of ravenous wolf pups.  I mean children.  In any case, it’s a good skill to carry over into writing.

I make a list of editing tasks and finish the easy ones first, leaving things like Grammar and formatting for last.  I won’t bore and distract you with the details, because I’m lousy at it.  I’ll just give you a general idea of how I tackle this beast.

Besides the two books above, I have a valuable resource given to me by my last ePublisher.  It went out of business, so I won’t mention the name.  They were always nice to me there and I’ll always be grateful.  In any case, this ePublisher provided each author with a list of pre-editing tasks, things they wanted us to clean up ourselves before sending our manuscripts to the professionals in-house.  I think it saved them a lot of time.  I also learned a lot from it and I still use the list today.  They were great.  If my writing’s crappy today, it wasn’t their fault.  Since I can’t share that with you, I can only suggest you try to find one that works for you, either in a bookstore or from an authorly friend maybe.  But, it really does help to have a pre-editing checklist.

A site I’ve found extremely useful over the years is Just About Write.  They have a huge archive of helpful revising and editing articles.

So, the first hurdle to get over, for me, is the I’m So Sick of Working On this Story I Could Just Puke phase.  For that, I take a few days off, watch favorite movies that are completely unlike the story, go camping, whatever, anything to give my poor tired brain a rest from dealing with it.

Massive head-colds work great too.

Seriously.  I’m absolutely ruthless at editing when I have a stuffy head.  Try kissing someone with the Flu. Nah, that’s gross.  Forget that.

Just do your best, slug it out, get to the end.  Try ice cream, chocolate, I hear Starbucks works wonders in these situations.  Anyway, best of luck.  You’re gonna need it.

Thank God it’s Friday!