What’s Wrong with My Manuscript?

What’s Wrong with My Manuscript?

What’s Wrong with My Manuscript?

Posted on 10/31/2022 Evan Swensen
What’s Wrong with My Manuscript?

Many writers are stunned when a publisher rejects their manuscripts for editing reasons. Unfortunately, some writers have jumped the gun in publishing their books, omitting editing because they thought their story was so strong they “didn’t need to edit.”

But readers and reviewers have reminded writers worldwide of how distracting manuscript errors can be, even in e-books. The best story will be abandoned when readers find it too hard to ignore or be confused by poor spelling and non-standard punctuation.

As an author, I know that it’s practically impossible to see the trees for the forest when you’re busy writing.

Writing is hard work. Editing a manuscript for submission is hard work. But they are not the same kinds of work, and even the best writer finds it difficult to catch a manuscript’s many possible errors, especially after re-writing and polishing it.

Just what kinds of problems are we talking about? Somewhere along the line, I found a chart depicting the most common copyediting errors found in writers’ works. (Copyediting is the final editing that looks at a work’s details rather than basic plot, character development, etc.) Unfortunately, I cannot find the attribution for this information, but it generally coincides with our own publishing experience:

Missing words — 35%

Punctuation problems — 24%

Agreement — 15%

Capitalization errors — 11%

Spelling — 6%

Remaining miscellaneous errors — 9%

We encourage our authors to find good editors and respect constructive feedback at every step of the writing process. This will assist your writing become even better, and help to keep your readers’ attention on your story, where it belongs, not on the copyediting details.

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