12 April 2012


 After reading through your manuscript to make sure there are no glaring grammatical errors, your plot and sub-plots are plausible, facts are correct, and your characters have maintained their appearances.  In other words, your protagonist’s hair didn’t change colour between pages 10 and 43, you decide to read through it just one more time.  This is when you might fall into the trap of tinkering with sentences that don’t sound quite right and/or paragraphs that could use some improvement.

I put my hand up.  I have been guilty of such behaviour.  So now when I see a bout of it coming on I know it’s time to send it off to be read by a fresh pair of eyes.  These eyes belong to my professional assessor.  And invariably, she sees things that I didn’t notice because I have become too close to this story.  Of course, sending to an assessor can be confronting and brings us to the question.

Are you ready to be criticised?


  1. Jill, interesting subject on "tinkering" with a manuscript. I edited and re-edited for years before mine was published and I'm still thinking of things I should have or could have said different. I suppose every author feels that way at one time or another and having an assessor who is not that close to the story sounds like a great idea. No one really likes criticisim but an unbiased reader can be a big help in pointing out breaks in flow and such that you might be too close to easily see.

  2. Crazy Fox, you're right. I think we all tinker and re-tinker because there are so many ways to say something.