It's no surprise that most publishers expect authors to self-edit their work thoroughly before sending it for consideration. So, Rachael developed a strategy for new writers to help them cover as many issues as possible in just 6 rounds of edits, where each round looks at something different.
Here is a quick break-down of 'Rachael's 6 Read Rule' for you to use as a reference:
1. Plot and character (aka the developmental edit). Read your manuscript and be sure your setting, character arcs and motivations make sense.
2. Spelling and grammar. Cover as much of the 'technical sh*t' as you possibly can.
3. Punctuation and sentence length variation. Also consider your tone, pacing and author's voice at this stage.
4. Formatting. Also, run through your dialogue and be sure you have formatted this the right way.
5. Accuracy. Check your facts and references.
6. Entertainment value. Read from a reader's perspective rather than an editor's.
Between finishing your first draft and self-editing your book, put the manuscript away and forget about it for a few weeks, leaving 24-hours (Rachael recommends at least 1 week though!) between each round of edits at the least. When you return, you will have detached and will see it in a new light.
Keep 'Rachael's 6 Read Rule' to hand with this free PDF.
Don't forget to grab your copy of The Universe Doesn't Give A Sh*t About Your Book: A Brutally Honest Guide to Self-Publishing for more info.
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Rachael's non-fiction guide is available in hardback or e-book from Amazon and your favourite online retailers.