Basic Yet Underrated Things To Remember While Writing A Manuscript

Basic Yet Underrated Things To Remember While Writing A Manuscript

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You are bound to have a lot in your mind when writing the first draft of your manuscript. The story must be in a hurry to get typed, and you too must have a lot on mind. While typing your first draft isn’t a time to go back and keep correcting errors. The priority at that time is to get the story from your mind to paper. Or, as it is these days, on MS Word. That brings me to the first point.

This post was first published here.

Use MS Word

Might seem extremely silly to most people reading this, but believe me when i say this, you’ll be surprised to know how this isn’t a basic for everybody. I have lost count of the number of people who have written their entire manuscript or even article/blogpost/thesis on Notepad, and then copy-pasted the entire thing to MS Word. What’s the big deal, you ask? Formatting becomes a nightmare and a lot of time is wasted correcting the document while typesetting. Please open a MS Word document and start typing your manuscript. All the best 🙂

Run a spell check

Again, a very basic piece of advice. Once you are done writing a chapter, run a spell check. You can also do this after the first draft is ready, but this step is crucial. Neither you, nor your editor should be wasting time in correcting basic spelling mistakes. A lot goes behind writing a book, and every minute counts. Spending hours correcting spellings will just tire you/your editor out.

Also read: Understanding Dialogue Writing In Fiction

Know the use of basic features of MS Word

MS Word is one of the most important tools you will be using during the process of writing and editing your manuscript. It is important that you are aware of how to use the program, if not at an expert level, but at least at an intermediate level! I have known people who are unfamiliar with usage of options like track changes and comment box. These two are extremely crucial and your editor will expect that you know how to use and interpret them.

Also read: Writing Tips: Character Development

Plan your chapters

Not a compulsory step, but it doesn’t hurt to do this. Sit and create a rough outline of your story and individual chapters. It is okay if you don’t know how the story will end. Begin slowly. Write outlines of the first five chapters and see how they expand. Accordingly, write outlines of the next five chapters before you begin writing the sixth chapter. This would help you stay focused and not lose track of the plot terribly.

Read what you have written

This is a constant suggestion I keep giving. Once you have written your manuscript, abandon it for 5-7 days and get it out of your system. Then, come back to it with a fresh mind and read it as a reader.  Not as the author of the story. Read it as a critical reader and mark all the places the reader in you hated, loved, and also areas that you wanted to trash. Pay special attention to all three of these places, believe me, you’ll be seeing your story through a new pair of eyes!

For more tips on writing, editing and social media, follow me on Instagram at @samarpita and Writersmelon at @writersmelon 
Writersmelon hosts monthly online writing workshops and the next schedule is set to begin from February, 2023. In the meanwhile, it’d be great if you can help us understand which topics interest you more by filling this form – shorturl.at/cqBCR

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Basic Yet Underrated Things To Remember While Writing A Manuscript

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Neha Ramneek Kapoor​
Neha Ramneek Kapoor​Social media consultant, Freelance writer
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A couple of friends asked me why I attended the writing workshop by Writersmelon, when I have been writing for over a decade. (1) Always a good idea to update your skills (2) It helped! I’ve already seen a shift in my process. (3) It was fun! I can’t wait for them to do more of these because it got me out of a writing funk, and gave me that much needed push. All writers needs that from time to time!
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Puspanjalee Das DuttaBlogger
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The writing workshop by Writersmelon and Samarpita was phenomenal in teaching the craft. They not only explained the theoretical part of writing novel/short story but also rigorously worked with us to practise. I have had so many doubts before about plot development but their exercises and crisp way of explaining the nuances cleared up my doubts. I would love to join any writing program by this duo and 100% recommend it to anyone who wants to write a novel.
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