Some Useful Tips from IBP’s Editor

self-editing

There are a few things for authors to do before sending manuscripts to an editor.

If you have your manuscript ready and wanting to it edited by a professional editor, you might want to read this post further to see if your manuscript is really ready  to be sent to an editor because there are certain things you, as the author, should do before you seek an editor’s help. 

We asked our editor to share some useful tips for authors so that they could double check their work before sending it out to an editor. 

1) The biggest mistake comes in the form of commas. People don’t know how to use them. They should read this page before deciding their manuscript is ready for review:
2) Put the manuscript away for 2 weeks, then proofread it again. Their brain will be fresh and able to better see mistakes and the odd word here and there that the spell-checker missed.
3) Numbers seem to be confusing, also. Never start a sentence with a written number. 0-9. It takes the brain a moment to see a number after getting used to letters. It puts a bump in the reader’s attention.
4) Ages written out with letters or numbers have dashes.
Two-years-old / 2-years-old
not
two years old / 2 years old
5) Research any information given as facts. A detective cannot work outside his/her jurisdiction without permission from local PD. Someone coming from L.A. cannot just walk into Chicago and arrest someone. Call a police station in the area to be worked and ask to talk with someone in media relations. Let them know you are writing a fictional story and you need clarification on protocols. Explain what your character is doing. Ask if their city allows the action. If you know you will have more questions later on, ask for someone’s name and direct number so you can contact them again.
6) Weapons -research your weapon. An AK-47 does not use buckshot.
7) Never use the Tab button to indent the start of a paragraph. Set up your paragraphs from the Paragraph Dialog Box. YouTube has lots of how-to videos for different types of writing programs. Go to YouTube and search ‘paragraph dialog box’ and find one for the program you use. It’s very easy to use these boxes.
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