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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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