Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Editing Basics

For the next few entries, I'll talk a bit about editing. There are a few things you need to do to be sure your manuscript is received well, either by a print or E-publisher. Here are some of the most important.

1. Proper Formatting - Some publishers vary in their preference, but the standard is the same across the board. I discussed it a couple of years ago, and you can find the list of what to do here. If an editor can't see past your formatting mistakes, they may not be able to fully appreciate the hard work you did on your story!

2. Vivid, Unique Characters - Your characters need to be memorable and well-rounded. What sets them apart from any other character your reader may have read? Give them foibles and idiosyncrasies. Just like real people! That includes your bad guys.

3. Strong Conflict - Not just bickering. Give your hero and heroine a real reason to be at odds throughout the course of your manuscript, otherwise there's no romantic tension.

4. Good Hooks - Each scene and chapter should end with a punch that makes your reader need to continue reading to find out What Happens Next. Think of them as mini-cliffhangers for your scenes, and bigger ones for your chapters.

5. The Happy Ending (in Romance) - We romance readers (and editors, too) crave a happy ending. If we don't get one, we'll be disappointed. Give us a convincing reason to believe your characters are going to get their Happily Ever After at the end of the book. See more about this all-important moment here.

If you have any questions on these topics, feel free to contact me!

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