Monday, May 14, 2012


by Maria C. Ferrer

Here are 10 basic editing tips to help make your manuscript better. Good luck.

1. Be merciless. Don’t be afraid to use a red pen and don’t be afraid to delete your work where needed. Remember that you can always save these “deleted scenes” to use for your website.

2. Start in the middle. The best way to get your readers involved is if you open your story in the middle of an action. Action is a great hook.

3. Show, don’t tell. Show the emotions not the experiences. Cut all the superfluous stuff.

4. Use action words. Word selection is important. Review your words and use the ones that move the story forward.

5. Watch your mouth. Your dialogue should match your characters.

6. Short, sweet and to the point. Dialogue is key. If your characters are talking nonsense without a reason, delete, delete, delete.

7. Skip the history lesson. Cut out all the extra history /research if it doesn’t move the story.

8. Setting is another character. While you should trim off the excess history / research, you still need to set the time and place of your story. Use the important bits for ambiance and setting.

9. Conflict, conflict, conflict. Make your characters work to achieve their goals. The conflicts should escalate as the novel progresses. Their achievements –and failures! – will make the reader care for them.

10. Happy Ending. A definite must. Just remember to tie up all loose ends before the hero and the heroine ride off into the sunset.♥

Maria C. Ferrer writes contemporary romances under her real name, and erotica under the pen name of Del Carmen. Visit her at or

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