Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 19, 2010

This Week: Two Manuscript Revision Checks

Even if the summer has kept you from finishing that book you are working on, you can still set a goal to help advance your story.  This week pull out one of your works-in-progress and just check for these two things:

Passive or negative voice:   Avoid is/was …ed sentence structure and stick to primarily to subject-verb-object patterns to convey action. Do a search for “ed ” to can catch these problems. Also search for “it was”, “it is”, “there is”, “there were”, and “there are” phrases throughout your manuscript.  Search for use of the word “not” to help you rephrase negative construction into positive statements.

Overuse of italics, capitals, underscores, bold type, and exclamation points.  These are fine when used sparingly, but usually hint at a deeper problem with the writing when overused.

Just checking out these two things could make a big difference in your manuscript and is an easy thing to do this week.  Give it a try and accomplish something good.

Also, I wanted to let you know that Connie Hsu and Kate Sullivan have each been promoted to Associate Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.  Congratulations, Connie and Kate!  You both deserve the promotion.

Bette Anne Rieth won the 2010 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for Children’s Literature for her YA novel titled, “Greetings from the Miracle“.  Bette Anne lives in New England, but comes out to many of the New Jersey writing events.  Congratulations, Bette Anne!


  1. Thanks Kathy!


  2. Congratulations connie and Kate!

    And to Bette Anne as well. Greetings from the Miracle is great!


  3. Hi Kathy,

    Checking through my manuscript with these suggestions. I’m amazed. I stopped counting because it became embarrassing, lol!
    If you’d had a contest for ‘how many’, I would have won by a mile!
    Thanks so much for posting.

    Very best,


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