Editing Non-Fiction Manuscripts
Many authors incorrectly believe that editing is not as important
in non-fiction books. However, the same rules apply to both fiction
and non-fiction. For example, the following examples of key edits
refer to a management guide.
When writing - think like an editor in the content, tone and conciseness
of your words.
Use the active voice -' the manager decided to
complete the task before the next meeting', rather than "it
was decided that the task would be completed before the next meeting"
Ensure subjects and verbs agree - "the group
of products was marketed" rather than "the group of products
were marketed". A set is a singular rather than plural.
Use parallel construction -"the group is
learning to communicate better and are making sure that information
is shared" is better written as "the group is learning
to better communicate and share information".
Make the subject obvious - Searching through
the data, we came across the problem is not as obvious as "we
found the problem by searching through the data". The subject
is the problem - not the data.
Avoid overusing adverbs and adjectives. Instead
use specfic, descriptive verbs - the campaign produced some encouraging
results. The campaign improved on previous results by 35%.
Develop the story and tell the whole story - set up the
scenario, develop it, then resolve it. There is nothing more frustrating
for a reader to be lead down a path and not given the outcome. End
the story by reconnecting it back to the purpose at the beginning.
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