Monday, September 6, 2010


By Karen Cino

Of course my morning walk is always my inspiration. That’s why while I walk in the morning I have to be careful not to trip on a loose board or a nail that pops up. Yesterday, a few boards buckled. This hot weather is torturous for everyone and everything, so imagine my surprise when I went out this morning and there in the middle of the boardwalk was a huge yellow metal plate. (I call it a Band Aid.) As I walked passed it, it reminded me of the revision process.

When we finish our manuscript, we are excited and can’t wait to get it out to an agent or editor. Before we send it out, we take one last look at the manuscript, and at times, overlook problems in scenes. Like the boards on the boardwalk, the scene should run smoothly and flawless. Don’t let distractions or your excitement blind you from taking the extra few weeks to polish your manuscript.

The smaller Band Aid represents the grammar and typos. (This is real. I didn’t put that there. The Band Aid is covering a raised crack.) Take the time to do last minute tweaks. Your manuscript should be flawless; any typos would be a complete turnoff.

Let’s try to use the next two weeks to remove the Band Aid, and go over the first three chapters and synopsis of our finished manuscript. This way, when you have the chance to pitch your manuscript at the Golden Apple Awards, it will be polished and ready to be sent out.

Speaking of which, the Golden Apple Awards is also another opportunity to talk to industry professionals and receive tips on the up and coming trends. So don’t short change yourself. You’ll be surprised at the results.♥

Karen Cino is President of the RWA New York City Chapter. She keeps her muse alive by walking every morning down at the South Beach Boardwalk in Staten Island. Currently, she is shopping for a home for her novel, ROSES, and is working on her next novel, MYSTICAL WONDERS.


  1. Karen,

    Good advice! For me the draft comes easily while the revision and editing takes a hell of a lot more time and energy. It's all too easy to put a Band Aid on something than fix it."The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug." - Mark Twain
    Cathy G.

  2. Karen, thanks for a really insightful blog. I find that reading my pages out loud make a huge difference in picking up errors, awkward wordings or passages, or just painful writing. In terms of proofreading, I keep a good dictionary (can't remember which one--I'm not commenting from home--but it's huge, and one of the Oxfords)and also the Chicago Manual of Style on a table near my right hand. It helps immeasurably for quick looks without breaking the writer's trance too much, or for editing. Elizabeth Knowles Palladino

  3. I meant "makes" a huge difference. Sheesh, talk about proofreading! EKP