Look, Look, And Look

Before I send my manuscript to the editors, I’m doing my best to clean up my draft copy.

For those of you beginning this process, here are a few tips:

  1. Print out a hard copy – It’s easier to spot errors, holes.
  2. Make notes for obvious holes in the story, and correct grammar/punctuation, redundancies, and repetition.
  3. Turn off autocorrect to avoid missing homonyms ( words with the same spelling but different meaning/ wrong word for the sentence, e.g., pole, pole. Or, the homophones ( words with the same pronunciation but different meanings, or spelling (e.g., to, two, too.
  4. Eliminate weasel words: and/ or weasel words (“to be” verbs: is, are, was, were, had, had been).
  5. Use your search tool to seek out:
    1. Misused Words: e.g.,. Who vs. that; few vs. less, which vs. that, in vs. into, etc.
    2. Words to avoid: (can usually cut without losing a thing from the sentence), e.g., that, then, about, almost, begin, very, really, somewhat, up, down, over, around, only, just, even.
    3. Telling Words: e.g., seemed, knew, thought, felt, wondered, mused, because, suddenly, realized, prayed, considered, hope.
    4. Rethink these words – Are they necessary? Is it showing? Or, can you rewrite the sentence to make it stronger? e.g., as, while, since, although, though, though, because, when, before, until.
  6. Repetition – Lord have mercy! I had no idea how often I used certain words. e.g., look/looked, maybe, watch, or good. 

It isn’t advisable to do extensive rewrites before sending to an editor, but it’s recommended you send the cleanest copy you can. First up for me is a developmental editor. If you have recommendations for one in women’s fiction, I love the connection.  In the meantime, here are a few other resources to help with those first draft run through.

Do have other tips or resources? Share them with the fence jumpers. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Stories to Share

There is no shortage of talented writers out there, but if you’re like me, finding time to read all of the great stories that come across our screens can prove to be difficult. However,  I encourage you to make the time. Not only will you enjoy some great stories but also learn a bit about the craft of writing short fiction.

Reasons to Read Other’s Stories

Here are a few of things I’ve learned from reading the work of other writers.

1. With each story, I learn something new about the craft.

  • Story structure.
  • The use of a theme.
  • Character development.
  • The use of imagery
  • And, the lyrical language of prose.

2.  I also learn about the magazine, contest, or journal. The types of stories they like and publish most often. The more you read from a magazine, the better feel you have of what your story might need to achieve acceptance and publication. Of course, it goes without saying, read the guidelines before making any submission. 

3. I love to pass these stories on. As a writer, I know the work that goes into perfecting a story. It’s a labor of love and one we all like recognized.

It’s my honor to share these stories with you, and I hope you will pass them on. So, without further ado, happy reading:

Cadenza by Naira Kuzmich – carvezine.com/story/2018-winter-kuzmich

This Too Shall Pass by Shannon Stocker – WOW Essay Contest 1st Place Winner

Two Slices of Toast  by Dan Belmont – The Weekly Knob

As always, give the author a shoutout and let them know how much you enjoyed their work.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.