Edit Your Edits: Tip #12

Look out for new areas of weakness resulting from changes and modifications. Don’t let them get away from you.

Once you have reviewed each chapter, you should re-read the entire manuscript, beginning to end. Now is the best time to do that, not so much for inconsistencies anymore—although you may find a few stragglers—but for words or letters that you left in during the process of revision that you had meant to delete, or deleted that you had meant to leave in. For example: “The Los Angeles Dodgers is the best team in baseball,” when edited to “The Los Angeles Dodgers is one of the best teams in baseball,” requires more than the addition of “one of.” Since your intention was to change “the best” to “one of the best,” you have to remember, as well, to change the plural of “team” to “teams.” Sometimes, we forget to fix surrounding words to make them grammatically compatible with our revisions.

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