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Interesting document on editing from DWB Publishing... Options · View
Posted: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 6:51:23 PM

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Here's an interesting document on editing sent to me by DWB Publishing...I have a story coming out in a book soon, and they sent this along with the contract...

It's a good checklist, I think, for any story...though the first couple of sections here pertain to their specific requirements, the rest is sort of a condensed version of a lot of the stuff Morgan went over, and the usual rules..."show don't tell"..."Number formats consistent"...that sort of thing...happy8

Editing Checklist

Step 1: Main Document

Font: Trebuchet MS 12pt
First Line Indent: ½ inch
Line Spacing: 1.5
Properties: Title and Author Name
Margins: 1” left & right, ½” top & bottom

Step 2: Changes

Tabs removed
two spaces to one space
... to … (symbol)
One space after end punctuation, not two
Step 3: During Edits for full length mss only

verbal speech is to be in quotation marks (" "), telepathic speech in quotation speech and italic (" "), and written words to be italic with (' ').

Action tags separated from speech with a period, not a comma
If not using action tag, try to stick with said

Restructure where necessary to remove: that, it, had, was. Make sure they are only where necessary as these words tend to be overused. eg. "She was tall" changed to "When she walked into a room, her head nearly brushed the top of the door frame".

Dialogue: natural sounding? with contractions? without? correct word usage for period?

Information Dumps: too long? show don't tell

Head Hops / POV: too many? confusing? Best kept to minimum every 300 words. I find is best with each chapter, but some authors are able to do it more often.


Ellipses are to signal trailing off of speech of thought. Ellipses are to be displayed as "…"
Dashes are when something is cut off abruptly.
Emdash: use —
Hyphens do not have a space before or after them, em-dashes (—) do.

Commas after every item. eg, Picking up the leash, biscuits, and collar, I started looking for the dog. If it was Picking up the leash, biscuits and collar, I started looking for the dog. it would imply that the biscuits were attached to the collar.

A centered ~ * ~ is preferable, although sometimes a double space between paragraphs will indicate a short passing of time for the same POV.

Time: Write it out three o’clock p.m. or a.m.

Toward/towards: Do not use "towards", you either go toward something or away, there is no plural when you go toward a person or thing

If you are not sure if a word is hyphenated, one word, or two words, check a dictionary! eg: never the less is actually nevertheless. Alright is correct but if you are asking if someone is all right, it’s two words.

Number formats consistent throughout document. eg. time format the same for all times, weight numbers either spelled out or in numerals (only one format in document), AM & PM as a.m. not "am" through document. Generally lbs. is pounds, kg. is kilograms, etc. I prefer you do not abbreviate, except when using Ms., Mr., or Mrs. unless these words are used in speech. We do not speak in abbreviations. "Thank you, Mr. Smith." NO! Write it out as, "Thank you, Mister Smith." Mr. Smith walked down the road – is fine because "Mr." is not being used in speech and may be abbreviated.

Get rid of words like has, had, just, that, it. If you can read the sentence without the word, you don’t need it.

Your and you’re are two different words. There, they’re, and their are not interchangeable!

When in doubt, use these references:

1. Author submits manuscript
2. Manuscript is accepted/rejected
3. Accepted manuscript is sent to Editor with estimated publishing date
4. Editor does first edit, sends to Author, with corresponding edits until both are happy with final product. (This is the line edit stage). All correspondence between editor and author should CC the EIC.
5. Editor sends manuscript on to EIC who then sends it to a proofreader to check it.
6. Proof Reader returns manuscript to EIC who then checks the MS for changes made and again corresponds with the author for and necessary changes.
7. Errata is sent to author. Once author finishes Errata, it is returned to editor.
8. Once editing is finalized, EIC sends it on to CEO for the galley edits.
9. Manuscript is published.

EIC: (Editor In Chief) Jeff editor-in-chief@dancingwithbearpublishing.com

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Posted: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 7:16:14 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/7/2009
Posts: 231
Location: at sea
Writing hurts too much.

Some great tips.

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