The first task in fixing a manuscript is to ensure the format is correct. Manuscripts should follow the guidelines of the Chicago Manual of Style and Writer’s Market guidelines. While something reasonably close may be satisfactory, adherence to standards demonstrates professionalism.
Repair Wizard, an application included with all Wizards for Authors products, will reformat your manuscript easily. There are several reasons to run Repair Wizard. This will make your manuscript edit friendly. After completion, the chapter openings will not wander about the page. Strange blank lines will not suddenly appear. Furthermore, reformatting with Repair Wizard allows you to use Burster Wizard, Joiner Wizard, Add-A-Chapter, POD Wizard, and eBook Wizard. Learn more about Repair Wizard here.
Developmental Editing is a significant structuring or restructuring of a manuscript’s discourse.
You can do it through a GOOD critique group, hire someone, or do it yourself.
Developmental editors offer specific suggestions about the core intentions and goals of the book, the underlying premise, the story, character development, use of dialogue and sensory description, the polish, narrative voice, pacing, style, language. They don’t do grammar and spelling.
You must be willing to kill your darlings, that is, those wonderful scenes you love, but don’t really move the story forward. You must chop, move, and change. The result may be so changed that it doesn’t resemble the original first draft.
We recommend Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckermen as a guide to this type of editing.
Further guidelines in the writing craft can be obtained at http://wizardsforauthors.com/books/
Line and Copy Editing
Before beginning, ensure your manuscript is formatted with Repair Wizard, Novel Wizard, or Nonfiction Manuscript Wizard.
Run Burster Wizard to burst the manuscript into chapter-files.
Run Word’s Grammar and Spell Check
Run Grammar Wizard to check for Grammatical Style and Word Usage on your first chapter. Review the comments, correct where necessary. Ensure you set the indiscretions you found to not apply to you or your story to SKIP forever. For example, if you have a character BILLY, the –ly adverb indiscretion may have tripped. Ensure you set to skip so it’s not marked in the next chapters. To learn more about Grammar Wizard, click here.