How to see your manuscript with fresh eyes

Sometimes it’s hard to look at a manuscript that you’ve been staring at for months with fresh eyes.  There are passages you gloss over because you’ve read it a million times and your brain just fills in the gaps.  In order to see your manuscript in a new way and take it to the next level try these tactics:

  1. This one’s obvious, but step away from the manuscript for a while. It will be hard since all you want to do is get it out into the world, but taking a month long break from it, or even two weeks really does help.
  1. Change the font of your manuscript. I don’t know where I picked this up, but it works.  Spelling errors or other parts that are off will jump out at you if you change the font.
  1. Write a few pages from a different point of view or a different tense. It will make you see things you didn’t before.
  1. Write a piece of backstory that isn’t in the book. This might reveal parts of your characters’ motivations or lead to other improvements in your manuscript.
  1. Read the book out loud to your dog (or yourself or whoever will listen). If you stumble or reword parts as you read fix those areas in your manuscript.

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