Tag Archive | manuscript

I’m actually doing it. (And I’m not sure I like this.)

I wrote up a synopsis, took my first forty pages, wrote a cover letter (that sucks, just because I’m a nobody but oh well) and addressed an envelope to myself. All of these things got put into a pretty envelope and is just steps away from being sealed forever. Well, at least until some editor in New York opens it and reads the story I have to offer.

That’s right. I actually am going to send out a manuscript to a real life publisher. This is bigger than submitting a short story. This is huge.

I’m somewhat a combination of this:


There's no way this will work out.

and some of this.


This might actually be a good thing.


But mainly, I’m just a lot of this.


That's my--what?!?! Life's blood! NO WAY SHOULD I BE DOING THIS!

Nor do I even get to find out until this summer, which is probably going to be at best that they want to see my full manuscript, and even then, they probably won’t even take it.

After all, one of my goals this year was to get a rejection letter. Now I’m going to get two. Hopefully, I’ll get more. If I look at them as one step closer to getting actually published, then it’s a good thing. After all, have you ever heard of a published writer who didn’t get a few rejection letters first? (Though, honestly, I’m offering to be the first one there! Not a problem with that.)

Anyway, seeing how it’s currently Sunday night, and I need packing tape to actually seal the package, It won’t get sent out until tomorrow. Until then, I have a chapter thirty-six to plot through and a paper on my math history to write.

Three Tools of Proofreading

(Abigail Side Note: I’m sorry about the nothingness of last week. I”m trying to juggle a new semester and about five new responsibilities. Hopefully things will start to balance out soon.)

Proofreading, which is basically just like editing, is something that everyone needs to do. No one should bang out ten pages of some random paper and call it a day. I have discussed elsewhere the benefits of editing but I think that the tools of the trade must be understood.

1) Spell checker. I will admit, I love spell checker. I am a horrible speller. I just learned last year how to spell “necessary”. Before that, spell check picked it up for me. One of the first things I do after I’m done writing is run a spell check on it. That clears up all the obvious errors.

That being understood,

You cannot rely on spell checker.

Seriously. There are so many similar words, like dug and drug, rely and relay, defiantly and definitely, summery and summary. None of these words mean the same thing, but they will show up as correct on spell check.

Also, a spell checker can’t distinguish between  parts of grammar. If I drop an -ly from a word, it won’t know. It just looks at what you wrote, and compares it to what it finds in the dictionary.

That being said, we move on to tool number two.

2) Eyes. Imagine the horror of actually having to do something  manually. </sarcasm> Seriously though, you do need to actually read though what you wrote slowly, looking for all those little errors that spell check missed, and typos you made. Usually, when you do this, something that made sense before might not actually make sense anymore. Understand: That’s Okay! That means you found a place that you’ll have to edit anyway later.

3) The Pen: This is going to seem like a nuisance, but, having a pen handy to mark where your mistakes are is a very valuable tool. Wait–I can’t mark with a pen on my computer. That would ruin it! Well, then that means you probably want to print it out.

See, I know that it may seem like a waste of trees. And for a long time I thought that printing things out to edit hem was, in fact, a waste of money. But after I have seen how many errors I missed when I didn’t print it out, I learned my lesson. Waste the trees! Your project will love you.

So that’s it. The three basic tools of proofreading. Yes, you can use one without the other, but it isn’t very advisable. You need all three to make sure that your manuscript is as good as it can possibly be.