By Ellen Buikema
I often feel that my first drafts are like the first cooked pancake in a batch, otherwise known in my family as the doggy-pancake—tasty but with issues.
Although it is said that Shakespeare never crossed out a line, most published books have very different first drafts. Good writing takes time, along with some wailing and gnashing of teeth.
At my author visits in school libraries, I’d ask the students to take a quick glance at all the books on the shelves. Then I told them, “When the authors began writing those books they made all kinds of mistakes. So don’t worry. Get your thoughts on the page and worry about fixing the errors later. Everyone makes mistakes.”
These ten self-editing tips can help shape your next manuscript.
1. Read out loud
Using text-to-speech programs, reading aloud to yourself, or listening to someone else read helps you find errors in grammar, sentence structure, and flow. When those lines don’t look quite right, hearing them is a quick way to zero in on needed edits.
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