1. Editing onscreen is more difficult and less accurate than printing out your manuscript and attacking it with a pencil. Unless you’re well-practiced at editing pixels, print it out.
2. As you read your manuscript, read aloud. You will pick up more problems that way and if you run out of breath, it’s probably a run-on sentence.
3. Some experts tell you to read your manuscript backwards, one word at a time, to catch more typos. Though it is true this technique works, you must have a form of OCD to act on it. This is advice editors give, but never do themselves. If you don’t believe me, try it with any book-sized manuscript. (Wait! First make sure there are no sharp objects or firearms nearby!)
4. As you edit, read slowly. Your brain is wired to skip over mistakes when you read quickly.
5. Farm it out. You need someone else’s fresh eyes on your manuscript to see the thing you are missing. Hire editors. (Here’s one!)
- How can I get started editing this manuscript? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Writers: On sending your stuff (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- When it comes to revision, paper wins (davidhewson.com)
- Can you really revise a book on your iPad? (davidhewson.com)
- Book Information Centre Blues (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)