About this time in 2009, I wrote about my little dog, Tinkerbell, and how we had to get her fixed. I used that as an analogy for "fixing" our writing.
It cannot be stated enough. You must do some self-editing of your work before submission. I have heard a lot of nonsense from writers who say, well, that is what they (meaning book publishers/others) have editors for.
Here are a few things to ponder about how to do this self-editing job.
1. If you worry that you are not good with editing your own work, try editing someone elses. I know that sounds funny to think that such activity could aid you but believe me, it does. I have edited contest entries, and other works for friends and authors who just needed a pair of eyes, and it really did help me find boo-boos in my own stuff.
2. Write a synopsis before starting edits. If you know the way the story is SUPPOSED to go before you edit it, you will recognize places where you have wandered off the path.
3. We all have tics. Those little things that make us unique. Even in our writing, we do this. Like saying LIKE all the time. And using THAT too much. Go through your work and eliminate those things.
4. Do use spell-check. It is there for a specific reason. If there is a little red underline on the manuscript, look at it closely and try to see if there is a reason.
5. And please, please, please do not overuse EXCLAMATION points.
I will consider other things you may find in the self-editing world and try to post them later. Until then, enjoy your first of November, Murderers. It's going to be a nice winter.