Don't Pick Your Manuscript To Death....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Don't pick your manuscript to death... What do I mean by that?

I think a lot of writers are guilty of over editing... I am more than anybody. I pick and pick and pick at my manuscripts. Then, I freak out when I send it off because I find ten mistakes after it has already been sent.

Here's what I have to say about that. Yes, the writing world is extremely competitive. And yes, there are dozens of people out there that have manuscripts that gleam perfection. But are there still mistakes in them? Yes. You know why? Because we're human. We are not robots. We do make mistakes. Every single one of us.

Mostly, I just encourage you to get your manuscript in the best possible shape it can be in. Don't sit there and pick and pick and pick, because 9 times out of 10, even if you sit there and pick it apart, there are still going to be mistakes in it. Does that make you a bad writer? Not at all. It makes you a human being.

Think about how many books you purchase a year. I'm not going even dive into my number but... I will say that I have a very large bookshelf that is overflowing. And I don't know about you, but I always look for mistakes in books I purchase. And believe me, every book has some.Why do I do this? Because it reminds me that person that edited the book is human too and they make mistakes just like I do.



  1. Anonymous said...:

    Amen! I'm guilty of this

  1. Yes, you can suck the life out of a story if you mess with it past a certain point.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I do this a lot- especially in the published books. It both bothers and comforts me, but it does make me a little less paranoid about my own.

  1. khashway said...:

    I couldn't agree more. I manage to find mistakes in every book I read. It happens. Even after multiple edits, some mistakes will slip through. Like you said, we're only human.

  1. Great post. I think I'm guilty of over-editing but how do I stop!!! I also look for mistakes in published books and my daughter points them out to me in the books she reads. Hehehe I cringe when I see them and think - I wonder what the author is going to say when they discover this. But, I agree it makes them human and me less obsessive, well, for a few days at least. LOL

  1. I edit that ms to death and when I get my line edits from the editor I practically scream. How can there be so many missed commas? Did my word processor eat them?

    Good advice, Lauren.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Its a scary moment ... the moment to stop and send...

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Hmmm. I like your way of thinking. I'm guilty of over-editing too.

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