A manuscript is a written document that is typically in the form of a book, article, or other written work that is submitted to a publisher or other organization for review and possible publication. Manuscripts are not genre-specific, and can be written on a variety of topics and can be in various formats, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or research papers. They are usually written by an author or group of authors and are reviewed by editors and other publishing professionals before being accepted for publication.
If a writer wants to publish a book, they will typically need a completed manuscript. The manuscript is the written document (literally, the Microsoft Word or Google document that contains your words) that is submitted to publishers or literary agents for consideration. It is important to note that before submitting a manuscript, the writer should revise, proofread and edit it to make sure the manuscript is ready for submission and meets the publishers standards.
Should you write a book?
If the writer has a clear vision and goal for the manuscript, and the manuscript is something they are passionate about and want to see published, then it is important to finish it. Finishing your manuscript can also be very rewarding and fulfilling, there is certainly satisfaction from seeing your work come to fruition.
If you have an unfinished manuscript, here’s our best advice for finishing your project and preparing to submit your manuscript to a publisher. Our information will benefit those authors considering publishing with a Hybrid Publisher, but the information is applicable to any and all authors trying to finish a manuscript for submission to a publisher of any kind.
Tips for Finishing Your Manuscript
- Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Your Wins!
- Utilize Writing Resources for Authors
- Find a Support System of Fellow Writers, Readers, or Editors
- Focus on “you” and strengthen your “self”
- Take Breaks That Refresh You, Stay Motivated and Focused on the End Result
- Take Time to Plan Your Story
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help When Necessary
- Revisit Your Patterns: Get enough sleep, water, and sunlight
Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Your Wins!
Finishing a manuscript is no easy task. It takes creativity, dedication, and discipline to get it done. Before you start writing your first draft or getting back into the swing of editing an old one – take some time to set realistic daily goals for yourself that relate directly to the project at hand. Break down what needs be finished each day in order for you reach your milestones, then work diligently towards achieving those goals.
Utilize Writing Resources for Authors
There are many resources for authors out there to help them tackle finishing their manuscript. Many aspiring authors benefit from using platforms like Medium or Paper where they can publish in real-time for guidance and feedback. Nanowrimo is a beneficial resource that allows authors to track their progress, set goals, and participate in a writing community. Consider joining some writing groups that offer critiques and support from members who have similar goals.
Find a Support System of Fellow Writers, Readers, or Editors
Having some kind of support system can be hugely helpful when it comes to finishing your manuscript. Whether that’s joining up with a writing group for feedback and encouragement; getting advice from an editor about the best way to structure your story; finding trustworthy readers who are excited about helping you shape your work… we all need someone in our corner!
Focus on “you” and strengthen your “self”
“[A]n undeniable linkage exists between a person’s self-perceptions and the creative process he enacts. Thus, the way that an aspiring creative individual views himself plays a crucial role in his development as a creative writer and also in his written products” explains Grace Waitman and Jonathan Plucker in their article “Teaching writing by demythologizing creativity” in The Psychology of Creative Writing.
By considering the mental processes and your cultural environment of creativity, fostering a sense of critical-creative thinking can help you as a writer to generate meaningful literary works.
Take Breaks That Refresh You, Stay Motivated and Focused on the End Result
It’s easy to get bogged down in details while trying to finish a manuscript. Don’t let yourself burn out–break your work into chunks. Taking steps and appreciating small accomplishments will provide you rewards along the way. Taking regular breaks helps release stress and keep ideas fresh for when you come back to it; plus, allowing yourself time away from writing gives perspective so don’t be afraid of stepping away!
As you work to complete your manuscript, this is an excellent time to consider Copyright Law in the US and how it applies to your literary work. You’re thinking about submitting your book, you’ve shared some chapters, editors are looking at it, your coach is helping you to improve it… let’s face it, your work is getting out there.
Read about common Myths of US Copyright Law and gain a better understanding of how to best protect your work.
Take Time To Plan Your Story
Having a plan before tackling your manuscript can really help to minimize distractions, and keep you focused on what’s important. Giving yourself some structure, something to reference during each stage of completing your manuscript is key. Having an end goal also ensures that all efforts are directed towards achieving this objective. Stay flexible, though. This isn’t the source of truth, just another tool to help you finish you manuscript and get it submitted for publishing.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help When Necessary
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed if things seem complex or challenging — getting assistance with your manuscript is never something writers need to be ashamed of… Reach out to a friend, your publisher, hire a professional editor, mentor, or find a writing coach for helpful feedback and advice.
Revisit Your Patterns: Get enough sleep, water, and sunlight
Writing is a mental task.
Authors with good patterns develop strong habits and writers with strong habits foster strong creative thinking. Being creative starts with taking care of our bodies. It’s essential.
Finishing a Manuscript Isn’t Easy
Finishing a manuscript can be a long and arduous process. Commitment to the goal of seeing your work published is the most important thing to remember; this commitment may require setting realistic goals along the way. By following these tips, your manuscript should be finished. You’ll be ready to submit your manuscript to a publisher in no time.
Explore more Resources for Authors available on our website.