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Six Tips for Editing Your Manuscript

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Have you just completed a manuscript? Congratulations! Now comes the fun part – editing it until it is polished to perfection! Use the steps below to ensure your manuscript is error free and ready for submission to editors.

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Here are 6 tips for editing your manuscript:

1. Let it Sit for a While

After you just finish a manuscript is not the time to edit it. Shut down your computer and WALK AWAY! Take a break and refrain from reading and rereading and making changes to the manuscript for several days. By taking a rest and getting some distance from your manuscript when you return to it you will feel refreshed and renewed and be in a much better mental state to begin editing it.

2. Print it Out

When you are ready to begin editing, it is best to print your manuscript out and to read it off of physical paper. This is because scientists have found that it is easier for people to spot mistakes on paper rather than a computer screen. You can make corrections right on the paper with a pen or pencil and then return to the computer to make changes once you have finished proof-reading.

3. Edit First Thing in the Morning

In the morning your mind and eyes will be well rested and ready to tackle the task of editing! This is not something you want to do when you are tired, stressed or otherwise preoccupied with other thoughts. Editing is a tedious task that requires your full attention and focus. By carrying it out in the morning when you are rested and your mind is clear you are more likely to catch every mistake.

4. Get a Second or 3rd Set of Eyes

After you have edited and corrected your manuscript, print it out and take it to your local wiring group or ask a few writing-savvy friends to look it over for you. I am always amazed when asking others to review my work how many mistakes have slipped by me that others have caught!

5. Print it Out One More Time

After you and several others have proofread you manuscript and you have made the changes, again take a break for a few days. Then print out the edited version and reread it. This way you will have another chance to be sure all errors have been corrected and that your manuscript is the best that it can possibly be.

6. Hire a Professional Editing Service

If upon completing these 5 steps you are still unsure of if you caught every mistake you may consider hiring a professional editing service. This way you can be sure that all spelling, grammar and punctuation errors have been corrected and that your manuscript is polished to perfection!

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Do you have any editing tips or tricks that work well for you? We would love to hear about them! Please feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

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