I can’t tell you how often I’ve reread a manuscript and missed a missing the or of or a word I used the wrong spelling on. At least grammar programs help a bit on that.
The trouble is, there is no program to catch the errors or omissions made in the story itself.
This is probably the most difficult job a writer has. Why? Because we know the story, the backstory, the characters, so we don’t realize that something got dropped somewhere along the line. Oddly enough, editors notice these things right away.
Now, that’s no problem if you’ve been working with the same editor and the oops weren’t numerous enough to irritate them out of offering another contract, but if you’re submitting to one for the first time (or to an agent, or just want to make sure you don’t lose a reader) because of an oops, then learning to look for a whole new set of elements to correct is very important.
This is editing for story elements, and sometimes that’s more than just something that was left out by accident, but rather something you weren’t even aware was missing.
Take a month to stroll with me through the labyrinth of editing your story.
BIO: Beth Daniels writes as Beth Henderson, J.B. Dane and Nied Darnell these days, though she’s answered to a few other pseudonyms in the past as well. With over 30 published novels to her various names, in various genre niches, and a 30-year long career as a published novelist, she freely admits that she doesn’t catch everything all the time either, but there are fewer and fewer requests for “tweaks” arriving from editors than she used to get. So that you have less reason to grind your teeth, she’s willing to share some of the tricks of wrangling a story into shape. It helps that she’s been a fiction writing instructor in the RWA online chapter universe for a decade already. Find her at www.RomanceAndMystery2.com, www.WritingSteampunk.com, http://www.Muse2Ms.com
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