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9 manuscript mistakes only first-timers make (and how to fix them)

Turning a critical eye to your book can decrease these easy-to-avoid errors – and increase your credibility with your readers.

Manuscript Mistakes
Don’t make these manuscript mistakes. Photo by durantelallera/Shutterstock

The first self-published book I edited was written by a longtime newspaper reporter. Seasoned and self-confident, he decided to set sources aside and pen a novel, his first work of fiction. He told me he didn’t think he needed an editor, but a novelist friend had advised him to get another pair of eyes on the manuscript before self-publishing. Enter me.

The reporter’s book demonstrated real promise: It had intrigue. It had romance and humor. It also had the main character’s name spelled three different ways in the first 13 pages, some confounding narrative inconsistencies, and 642 adverbs (I counted).

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Originally Published