Thursday, May 16, 2013

iUniverse shows you How to Proof your First Draft – Part 1

iUniverse THE END
Here at iUniverse we know that as an author there comes a time when the plot has been followed, the characters have made their play and the hero walks into the sunset, and you place “The End” on the final page of your manuscript. Hours, days, weeks and many months of penning thoughts and ideas into what you hope is to be one of your biggest accomplishments is complete.

At this point you’ve probably had another inspiration bubbling away, and you’re champing at the bit to start writing. The hero and tale you have just completed has had its time, it’s become lackluster and grey, the storyline old. A seasoned author knows to hold back the reins of their new project and bring home the one waiting to be cleaned up and patted down ready for its journey into the publishing world.

Generating the will power and energy to edit the manuscript you have finished is yet another hurdle. Whether you edit it once, twice or ten times, it’s advisable to come up with a plan to make it the best you can before pushing it out the door. Here are some ideas to consider when revising a proof.

iUniverse Editing on screen or paper.
iUniverse says a paper printout helps you find those pesky little mistakes.

Screen revision or print-out?

Talk with any writer of worth and they will tell you to always to print out a copy and proof read it this way. Reading from a galley proof will help get a better feel for your story and pick up mistakes which you missed on the computer screen.

  • Print your manuscript 1.5 or double-lined spaced, giving your eyes plenty of white paper around each word and sentence, and space for placing editing marks.
  • Colored pens, use 3-4 different colored pens for editing. Generally red ink is used for deletions and blue for insertions. No matter what colors you use, just be consistent.
  • Notebooks and research materials are required. A notebook for any large change of ideas to the plot or characters, or details overlooked. The research material to confirm any facts being placed within the story.

Revision completion date

When writing, you set a word count deadline each day or date to complete a chapter. To get a proof out in a timely manner you must adhere to the same practice. A manuscript of 200,000 words, you should estimate, say, 2 weeks to complete the first revision. If more than one proof read, take a week or more off between to clear your mind before commencing the second go at it.

iUniverse proof reading
iUniverse says no matter how you revise your proof, make sure its consistent.

Starting your revision

It’s time to begin proof reading your manuscript. Start from page one, have your notebooks, pens and research at hand. Read as if you had just picked it from the bookstore, as a new story. Most writers are surprised at what they see, in some cases they have no recollection of certain sections and facts about their story they thought they knew so intimately. This is because most put their thoughts down in a haze of imagination, the words just flowing from their mind into their hands and directly into the pen, pencil, typewriter or PC, and funnily enough they are generally the best parts of the whole book.

When reading here are some things to think about:

  • As the story unfolds do your characters still come across the way they did at the start?
  • When you introduced something new, such as a character or situation, did you follow it through or did it or they just disappear?
  • Is there a scene or situation with your characters which need not be included and does it matter if you delete it?
  • Does your plot follow through or jump around leaving the reader lost?
  • Is your grammar, spelling and general literacy good?
  • What was the purpose of your book, and did you meet its criteria?

iUniverse hopes you enjoyed the first article in our two part series, iUniverse shows you How to Proof your First Draft – Part 1. In the second editorial we look at where to place your corrections, combining scenes or characters, completing your revision, and the ending. iUniverse publishing, our team and services are here to help.

To learn more about the role of iUniverse in the successful book publishing revolution. Click Here


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