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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Does Your Manuscript Have Roving Eyes?

All the beginning writers I edit make the "roving body parts" mistake with their first book. They include very active and impossibly magical feet, hands, and especially eyes in their work. Here are some original examples from a promising writer who had never been warned against this body parts thing! (-: You’ll have to put your mind in literal mode to see the humor in them.


“Tommy’s eyes rose from his drink and met hers from across the table.”

“His eyes never left ours.”

“His hazy eyes follow his fingers’ every note.”

“Everyone’s eyes, including the bands’, are glued to Tommy…”

“…her eyes falling on mine…”


“Eyes” are the body parts most authors have doing outlandish things, but it isn’t always eyes. Inspect your manuscript before send it to agents or publishers unless you want them to get a good laugh. And toss your manuscript in the round file before giving it a fair shake.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults. and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success (How To Do It Frugally series of book for writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers will find lists and other helps including Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

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