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Tuesday, April 26, 2016
I have a sheet I use when editing manuscripts and which has evolved and grown over the years--things I've added because a number of authors may have issues with them in their manuscripts, or something new I've learned (yes, even editors learn something new every day), or little things I want to make sure I didn't overlook (because sometimes stories are so good I catch myself being a reader and have to go back a few pages to re-read as an editor.) Some items on my list are simple, some more complex.
I realized the other day that it would be a great idea to do a regular blog post on helpful items to add to your own self-editing sheet.
First up, it seems only fitting to share a few of the initial ones I began with on my own list:
a) taught vs taut--this is one of those that the spelling is so close you might glance over it quickly, your mind filling in the blanks automatically. This happens with a lot of words because you are often so focused on looking for bigger things. It also falls into the same jumbled word category as one of my previous posts with reign vs rein. Taught = teach, taut = pulled tight, stretched, controlled.
b) alright--technically, this is not a word and should be changed to "all right" as the correct use.
c) blond vs blonde--though the difference is masculine vs feminine, it is actually okay to use either word for both males and females. However, the most important thing to remember and note is to keep to one style throughout your manuscript. You should not have a blond male and blonde female and then later in the story have a blond female. Make a choice and keep it unified throughout. As soon as I come across the first reference in a manuscript I'm editing, I circle the author's choice on my sheet; this way, I can fix any references that then come up in a different style.
You can check out a few more items to add to your list on another of my previous posts HERE.
Self-editing sheet...don't submit without using one first!