Ten questions may seem like a lot. But you've worked hard on your manuscript, and if it's a complete dissertation or thesis, novel or memoir, you're probably going to spend in excess of $1,000 to have it edited. You need to know that it's going to be money well spent, and that you're entrusting your precious work to someone who has the ability to give it the quality treatment it deserves. The following ten questions will help ensure you're in the right hands—so don't be shy about asking them!
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If you’re writing nonfiction, and especially if you’re writing an academic book of some sort, an index is usually a must. Beyond the sheer dollars and cents value of helping book buyers to see that your book has what they need, you wrote the book because you thought it would be useful to people. And when it comes to your book’s usefulness, a good index can make all the difference in whether or not a reader is able to find the information s/he really needs. A really good index analyzes words and concepts, and it shows the connections between them, all while distinguishing substantive discussions of those concepts from merely passing mentions. In short, indexing is a work that requires analysis, judgment, and creativity—which is why it can’t be done by a computer.
Have you identified your ideal reader? Keep in mind that this exercise will not only make your memoir more attractive to a potential publisher, it will help you focus your writing and dig more deeply into the significance of your message. If you have difficulty grasping the concept of this stage of writing, a professional editor, like those you find on the team at Edits Made Easy, can easily guide you through the process.
While both the memoir and the autobiography have elements in common, here are also important ways in which they differ. To determine whether your project falls into one category or the other, here are a few points to consider:
Like most nonfiction writing, a memoir can best be accomplished by starting with an outline. The outline should be chronological and contain the specific people or events you are most interested in writing about, along with the specific timeframe you would like to cover. To start out by trying to cover your entire life is probably not the best way to go, since it will dilute your story and make the task seem onerous right from the start. Once you have a basic working frame, you can begin to gather information to fill in the blanks around the story. Then, if you feel there is more to be added to the story, you can always add to your outline. Think of each outline entry as a possible chapter in your memoir. And as always, the team of editors and coaches at Edits Made Easy stand ready to help you with your memoir!