Have you ever wondered what editors look for? In this article we will share some writing tips from our editors.
What editors look for
The work of editors is to correct errors and to polish the manuscript. Their trained eyes, along with patience and experience help them to detect common errors that writers bypass.
Spelling errors are one of the most common issues in editing a manuscript. Sometimes the writer is not good at spelling or it may just be typographical errors. Microsoft Word does a good job at highlighting spelling errors and the writer should take advantage of this option. So before submitting your manuscript to be published, please double check your spelling.
A writer who is versed in English would have fewer grammatical errors in the manuscript. All writers should pay attention to their verbs, nouns, pronouns, and other parts of speech. Make use of the internet and check your grammar. With a little research you would be surprised at how well a writer you can be.
This is another point where many writers fail. Most times writers use the wrong punctuation, or unnecessary punctuation. Again, with a bit of research any writer can learn when it is right to use a semi colon instead of a comma, or a full stop instead of an exclamation mark. Punctuation can tell the reader when to pause, when to stop, when there is a question or when thoughts are unrelated.
FLOW OF THOUGHTS
Editors also look for flow of thoughts from one sentence to another or from one chapter to another. Some writers make use of fragmented sentences and this must be corrected. Sometimes a writer may use two sentences when the point can be made with just one sentence. It is a good idea to have others read your manuscript and give you feedback so you can avoid fragmented thoughts.
Editors must have a keen eye to spot errors in writing and to decipher what the writer is trying to say. This is a tedious job and only experienced and qualified persons can do it.
Our advice to our fellow writers is to keep writing, do your research and make improvements and ask people for their opinion on your work.