Write It Sideways

Extreme Manuscript Makeover: Get Polished

Hold it.

Hold it right there.

Is that you?  That person you just caught a glimpse of in the mirror — the one you didn’t recognize for a moment.  That person who, just a while ago, was fat and frumpy, hairy and scary.  But you’re not hairy anymore.  Or scary, for that matter.

Why, you’re beginning to look like an entirely different person.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to Extreme Manuscript Makeover: Get Polished.

In Extreme Manuscript Makeover’s Introduction, you learned you were in for an interesting journey through the world of blind dating (with literary agents and editors, that is).  Bare It All took you through your manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, and helped you brainstorm ways to improve your book.  Tone It Up guided you through reshaping your first draft into something that started to look pretty darn good.

So here you are today, ready to take your manuscript to the next level.  Ready to make it shine like the gem it is.

Extreme Manuscript Makeover: Get Polished

Proofreading may sound like the easiest part of writing a book, when compared to sweating it through the first draft and subsequent major edits.  However, it’s not to be taken lightly.  Think of polishing your manuscript as giving agents and editors one less reason to reject you.

Still, it doesn’t need to be complicated.  There are only two questions you should be asking yourself during this phase of your manuscript makeover:  “What Am I Looking For?” and “What Are The Best Ways To Look For It?”

What Am I Looking For?

While you’re proofreading, keep your eyes peeled for errors or weaknesses in the following categories:

Now that you know what you’re looking for …

What Are The Best Ways To Look For It?

Arm yourself with some of the following effective strategies to make proofreading easier and more streamlined:

It’s been a long and arduous process, but you’re almost there.  Once you’ve finished proofreading, polishing and formatting, give yourself a much-needed break.

Your Turn

Your blind date is waiting, but there’s just one more crucial step before you can consider yourself truly prepared: You need an honest friend’s two-cents.

You wouldn’t really go to meet the date of your dreams without getting a second opinion on your appearance, would you?

Join me next time for Extreme Manuscript Makeover: Phone A Friend, where you’ll discover the best and most reliable sources of critical feedback for your work.