Editing Essentials

November 2009
by Natalie Schwartz

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Editing Essentials

by Natalie Schwartz

When I walk into my den, I immediately notice the sweatshirt slung over the chair, the magazines sprawled on the coffee table, the errant socks on the floor. My beloved husband and children, who created the disorder, fail to notice it. But I feel compelled to eliminate the clutter and clean the room so it’s comfortable and inviting, especially if we’re expecting guests.

The delivered draft of a manuscript is usually like my untidy den, marred by confusing passages, convoluted sentences, and grammatical errors. Even the most talented writers are likely to overlook these offenses because they’re too close to their work, much as my lovable family is incapable of noticing the chaos directly in front of them. But I’m not writing this article to vent about my family’s proclivity for making messes or their contention that I’m obsessively neat. I’m writing because immaculate copy in your books is essential. To garner respect and attention from distributors, retailers, and readers, it’s imperative that you produce high-quality copy that’s engaging, coherent, dynamic, tight, and grammatically correct.

Readers are a publisher’s guests. When they open a book of yours, they enter your world. Errors are distracting and off-putting; a book laden with mis…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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