A serious bit of advice that will help you and your manuscript co-exist.
I’m going to jump right in and say it, read your manuscript out loud. The cadence and harmony of the words are extremely important and reading out loud will make grammar mistakes, voice problems, and plain confusion stick out like snowmen in the desert.
Some of the best advice I love to give to the majority of my authors is to read out loud. Through this practice you will not only hear the dialogue of your characters and catch awkward phrasing, but the form of your prose will improve greatly.
Think about the way you read a book. Do you hear the narrator in your head? If you read a sentence where the syntax is incorrect or where the dialogue has expanded contractions making it sound stilted and formal, do you stop reading? The way the human brain works, we skim over a lot of what we read. So reading out loud will make you focus on each and every word. Then when something doesn’t follow a normal convention, it will halt your progress. That doesn’t mean you can’t break the rules, but make sure you are doing that on purpose and sparingly.
And have fun getting weird looks from the other people in the coffee shop. *wink*
About Amie McCracken:
I’m a voracious reader. My calling in life is editing. I’m ambitious and strong, but shy and like to sit in the background. I live in Germany with my husband, camera, computer, and a lot of ideas floating around in my head. They tend to take over (the ideas), and most of the time you’ll catch me staring off into space.
I like to capture moments, whether with writing or my camera. Moments in people’s lives that are painful, exhilarating, dull, perfect, teary, basically anything.
Amie blogs at I Am Alive