How to Turn Your First Draft into a Complete Manuscript

We are all writers now. Whether you write books, blogs etc., 

You are a writer, here are a few tips to turn your first draft into a complete manuscript.

  • Read Carefully

Read your first draft the way it is. You may choose to edit it along the way or just read alone. However, we would suggest that you read it without making any major edits. 

  • Create the second draft

No matter whether you are a best-seller, your novel’s first draft is usually just a clutter of all your thoughts. At this stage, you need to expand your ideas and give them shape. It is acceptable to add or delete content since you’ll have a better understanding of the plot and characters by now.

  • Rewriting and redrafting

This is where you write the third, fourth drafts, and so on. When you are  satisfied with the fine draft, format the novel in terms of font, size, colour, line spacing, chapter titles, paragraph breaks etc. Proofread it further to correct minor changes if necessary.

  • Print the novel

Printing out your novel is a tried and tested method that helps you spot errors quicker and easier. Reading on paper is less stressful to the eyes and also gives you a preview of how your writing will look on print. You can make handwritten notes on the draft and incorporate them in the soft copy once you’re done.

  • Find an editor

Your editor must be experienced, there are plenty of freelance editors whom you can hire. Alternatively, you can also choose editing services as a part of your book publishing process, depending on your preferences and convenience.

  • Find beta Readers

A beta reader is usually a test reader of an unreleased work. Beta reading is a process where you give your manuscript to a non-professional reader to evaluate from a third person’s point of view. A beta reader will give you feedback on your manuscript and check for errors, such as spelling or grammar. It is always helpful to give a checklist of questions you’d like them to answer regarding the manuscript, and request that they leave comments on the side instead of within the copy. 

  • Consolidate all the edits

Take the beta reader’s opinions into consideration and check if the suggestions can be implemented into your manuscript. Consolidate the changes proposed by them and your editor to finalize your manuscript.

  • Proofreading

The next step an author must do before sending his manuscript to the publisher is to proofread it. This requires time and patience, so make sure you do not rush it or are tired before you start. If necessary, you could print this version as done earlier, for ease of reading and spotting errors. Read through multiple times, as some errors might miss your attention in the first round. Additionally, ask your editor to proofread your manuscript before you send it for print.

  • Send your manuscript to the publisher

Once you are satisfied with the manuscript, send it to the publisher.Make sure to take the submission guidelines of the publishing house into consideration before you send it to them. The work is almost complete. Then designing the book cover, typesetting, choosing font, size etc. 

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