Essential writing skills: the ten-step tick list for finishing your manuscript

Matthew Wright

Whether you’ve got a publishing contract or intend to self-pub, there’s no getting around the need for quality assurance. And there’s only one way to get it – system, process, and a lot of elbow-grease.

My Adler Gabrielle 25 - on which I typed maybe a million words in the 1980s. My Adler Gabrielle 25 – on which I typed maybe a million words in the 1980s.

In recent weeks I’ve been outlining approaches to editing. But the process doesn’t end when you’ve got the last line-edit cycle finished. There are still things left to check.

Trust me – it’s important! You’d be amazed what slips through. The things to watch for before packaging that manuscript up and sending it off are:

1. Is the work still on length?
2. Are all your headers and footers consistent and correct?
3. Does the pagination on the contents page match the actual pagination?
4. Do your chapter titles match up with the contents page?
5. Did the last…

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About jjspina

Janice is an award-winning author with nine children's books for PS-Gr 4, five middle-grade/preteen/young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and two novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her children's book, Lamby the Lonely Lamby, won a Silver Medal in the Mom's Choice Awards. Book 1, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Honorable Mention from Readers' Favorite Book Awards. Book 2, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and so did Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series. Jerry the Crabby Crayfish won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. All her books are available on, Create Space, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on a mystery series for girls, a sequel to her first novel, Hunting Mariah, and a YA fantasy series will be coming in 2018 along with more children's books. Her hobbies are crocheting, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Essential writing skills: the ten-step tick list for finishing your manuscript

  1. Thanks for this Janice, I went to source & reblogged it 🙂

    • jjspina says:

      You’re welcome, Chris. I can’t take credit for this blog since it is Matthew Wright’s. He has a wonderful blog with all kinds of info on publishing, history of New Zealand and other tidbits. Best wishes, my friend!

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