So you’re done writing, right? I bet you’ve gotten it edited and proofread too. Well done then!
But hold up! Have you polished your manuscript?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN? IS MY MANUSCRIPT A SHOE?!
Sorry, it was just a simple question. But it’s relevant, for as long as you open your manuscript, you’d always find one or two errors. But that doesn’t mean your work is not good enough; it may just need a little more…you know…work.
Polishing your manuscript entails: checking for spelling errors, punctuation errors, grammatical errors, word order, parallel structure, plot structure, plot outline, etc.
BUT WHY? ISN’T EDITING ENOUGH?
Unfortunately, it’s not. Don’t forget that your editor is human, just like you. Hence, even after editing and proofreading, you still need to go through your work to ensure everything is set. Note that polishing your work doesn’t mean your editor hasn’t done his job well; it’s just to make sure there won’t be any reason for a reader to point out an error someday.
SO… WHEN EXACTLY DO I POLISH MY MANUSCRIPT, IS IT BEFORE OR AFTER EDITING?
You can polish your manuscript before giving it out to an editor. This is commonly known as Self-editing. Not only does this save your money and your editor’s time from being wasted on errors you should have picked out yourself, but it’s also a perfect way to assess your writing and pick out mistakes to avoid in your future works.
In conclusion, there are no limits to how much polishing your manuscript may need, especially before editing. Hence, try as much as you can to polish and polish until you’re satisfied. You can also seek the help of beta readers with keen sight to pick out errors for you.
Polishing your manuscript may be tiring at times, but it’s something you have to do as much as you can to get the best version of your work. Good luck.