Writing Pointers

If you are writing a book here are some initial pointers.

The kernel of truth is there: many books don’t find their audience, no matter how good they are. It’s important to understand what you’re up against and how to get your book into the hands of readers. 
With the odds stacked against you in an increasingly crowded marketplace, the first thing to do may seem obvious …You must make sure you’ve written the best book you can. 

When you’ve finished a draft, set aside time and read it aloud. Read it to yourself, your partner, your dog – just read it aloud. Allow yourself to hear your own words and notice where you stumble in the reading. These are your trouble spots. Mark them and carry on. When you’ve finished, go back through the manuscript and smooth out the rough patches. 

Notice if you have linguistic errors or bad writing habits (we all do). Do you overuse words or phrases? Does each section follow naturally on the heels of what has gone before? If not, sort it out. Be professional. 
Curl up in a comfortable chair and read it through, asking yourself if you are making some common mistakes.

When you think you’ve given it all you’ve got, give it to someone else. There is nothing better than good editorial criticism. A good reader will see where you’re trying to go; a good editor can help you to get there. Listen to everything and take the suggestions that you think will make it better. Elbow your ego out of the way. If there are portions of the manuscript that you love (we all fall in love with our own writing) that don’t belong, be ruthless. A good book is often as good for what is left out as it is for what remains..write,rewrite,edit…repeat.. 

Proof read. Spell checking isn’t enough. It may catch typos, but it won’t catch little slips of the mind, substituted words, bad grammar, poor sentence constructions. Look for consistency. 

To summarise the first steps

  • Spell check and proof read
  • Style must be consistent
  • Read the book aloud to find trouble spots-print it out and read on computer screen. You will notice different errors.
  • Don’t use words that you are not comfortable using
  • Don’t rely on punctuation -caps, italics, exclamation marks to emphasize -use good writing instead
  • Make sure every sentence, paragraph and chapter belong
  • Get feedback from people you trust 

(based on an article on Lulu.com)



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