News room: 5 Proofreading checks to run before sending your manuscript to a literary agent

5 Proofreading checks to run before sending your manuscript to a literary agent  by Jessica Barrah

This edition of expert tips comes from freelance proofreader, Wendy Janes. Errors can undermine an agent’s confidence in your writing, but these five simple checks (that you can easily carry out using the incredibly useful “find” function in Word) will help your manuscript shine.

If you’d like to learn more about the “find” function, read an article here or watch this YouTube video.






1. Check for overused words.

Here are some common ones that slow down and diminish the reading experience: just, look, moment, really, so, such, that, very. Many of these words can simply be deleted, others can be replaced.


2. Search for words repeated in error.

It is amazing how often “and and”, “in in”, “of of”, “the the”, “this this” can crop up. Sometimes a “had had” or a “that that” is correct, but repeated words are often basic typos requiring deletion.


3. Hunt down words substituted for others by mistake.

Here, I am not talking about grammatical errors such as the misuse of it’s and its, practice and practise, affect and effect, principle and principal, I am referring to words such as, from/form, sign/sigh, through/though/thought, that/than, them/then, woman/women.



4. Make sure spelling is consistent.

As a general rule, it is a good idea to avoid mixing –ize and –ise, –or and –our, while and whilst, toward and towards, among and amongst. I use the Oxford English Dictionary as my go-to book for spelling and hyphenation. If you are considering purchasing books to help with editing and proofreading, I highly recommend The Chicago Manual of Style (US) and the recently released New Oxford Style Manual (UK).


5. Tidy up punctuation.

Eliminate any spaced hyphens used parenthetically and replace them with spaced en dashes (UK style) or unspaced em dashes (US style). Use either curly quote marks or straight quote marks.




Wendy Janes lives in London. She spends her time running her freelance proofreading business, writing novels and short stories, and volunteering for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service.

To find out more about proofreading and the service she offers, go to her website.

You can also connect with Wendy on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.






More from our Expert Tips series:

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Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Latest response Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Most popular response
    Colin B Leonard

    Colin B

    23 Mar 21:03

    Thanks for that. I have been through the and and was process. I like my Really! Will scout out the others.

    Great articles

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    09 May 05:21

    Errors can undermine an agent’s confidence in your writing, but these five simple checks will definitely help your manuscript shine. The matter is true considering when learning more about this topic. Keep sharing more posts!

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    jiya joseph

    jiya - Most popular response

    19 May 12:21

    Proofreading checks are necessary for the people as it can help you in checking for the overused or unused words before sending the manuscript to a literary agent. This can be very helpful for the readers as they won’t find any repeated words which can be boring. die casting companies

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    Absolutely correct. Working with a dissertation writing service, I must say that your guidelines will be helpful for me to have the best proofreading checks before dissertation submission.

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    01 May 01:34

    Start breathing in quietly. Everyone makes mistakes, including editors. Then we hope they will get it.

    In a remote occasion, which you have not served, do not be afraid. You have enough energy to correct.

    Without much effort you can take electronic records through the email manager and then send them with the correct data. You can also resend your records with unique messages (with a reasonable note that this is a new presentation to correct the grammatical error in the cover letter). You could also see this as an approach to show that you are an “authentic” person and evaluate some approaches to recruitment by making a short line or two about why you made a mistake. When we see this with records, people take the opportunity to blame the withdrawal of caffeine. Moreover, this is something that almost everyone can get. :-)

    If you have mailed the submissions, you should just sit down right now.
    dissertation writing help Editors can remember this as an error, but do not consider it an important additional problem.
    The last advice from the trenches: we have at least two separate persons who look into the cards of our customers before they are placed. If possible, ask the partner to study his introductory letters and notes for editing.

    Good luck!

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
21/03/2016
Tags
Expert tips, Proof reading, Manuscript, and Writing