Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Final Check-Up for Your Book! by DL Larson

Lately I've been working on final edits for my sci-fi romance. It's past time to finish it to a polished state so it has a chance to become a published novel. In reviewing each chapter, scene and character POV, I realized I've been taking on the role of a doctor.

I've listened to the beat of each chapter, searching for good pacing, proper POV, clear descriptions, suspense building and comic relief.

I've checked for proper flow of words, character dilemma and growth, and checked the pressure building within each chapter.

I've looked for improper use of words, missing punctuation and typos! In other words I've given my manuscript a final check-up before I do one last thing.

The most important step I can do is not rely on my own judgment. I need help in this last stage, so I called in a professional to examine my baby. If you've never used a professional editor, I heartily suggest not missing this vital step in order to have a polished manuscript to offer agents and publishers.

Helen Ginger, editor extraordinaire, found a couple real bloopers in my manuscript. I told you how I've gone over every word with a critical eye. Yet she found simple mistakes in its, it's, they're, their, etc. I know better, but my eyes didn't connect to the mistakes. Basic third grade grammar and I missed it! Then there was the paragraph describing flowers in a field. The pedals floated about in a lazy swirl ... I've read that sentence a hundred times. Of course, I meant PETALS not pedals! Thank you, Helen for having a surgeon's eye for detail!

I'm a firm believer if a book is to survive, a professional editor needs to examine it, adjust and tweak it to its polished state.

Have you or your editor found a blooper in your manuscript? Share with us ~

Til next time ~

DL Larson


Morgan Mandel said...

Helen Ginger did a great job doing edits on Killer Career.
I highly recommend her.
You can learn more about her and other great
editors at

Morgan Mandel

Terry Odell said...

You mean like giving a character the wrong name the first time you meet him? For some reason, he was Blackstone instead of Blackthorne, and nobody caught it until the ARCs came out. Glad I did.