When I’m moving into the final draft of a manuscript or rewriting based on my editor’s comments, it can be hard to keep everything in mind that I need to correct. I have friends who will read the editor’s comments and then start reworking their manuscript at page 1. Me? I need a checklist because I’m worried that I’ll forget something. This means that I literally type up a checklist. The one that I’m working from now looks something like this.
- Intro to decade. Each chapter in this book reviews a single decade but it has to open with a solid overview — tell them what they’re going to read.
- Smooth text. General readability. I check this by having a voice reader read it aloud.
- Expand abbreviations. National Football League for NFL
- Words for glossary. A 20 term glossary is easier to assemble if you select the words as you go through each chapter.
Some people rewrite, going through the entire manuscript once per issue. I have to admit that when a manuscript is 75 pages long, I don’t have the time, or desire, to go through all 75 pages 5 or more time. Instead, I go through a sidebar or a section of the main text and make sure that I have addressed each item on the list.
If a block of text is too long, say a 7-page chapter, I have to break it up. Otherwise I check the first page or two really well, but by page 7 I’m just cruising along.
What method do you use to make sure that you’ve covered everything that you need to cover in a rewrite?