Grooming should not be attempted alone. When it comes to properly grooming our manuscript, we need help. I have several trusted friends reviewing my MS at the moment and it never ceases to amaze me:
1) What I miss. Even having read it numerous times.
2) What they miss. Each one has picked up different things in story, character and the use of my new favorite word "though."
My mom used to edit my papers in high school and college. She's the Queen of Grammar and the Top Speller. My favorite part is when she calls me with something not entirely grammatical. She immediately asks, "Did they get that?" meaning my other readers. If I reply no, she's jumping up and down like she won the lottery. This is not a competition, Mom. We're all editing together for The Greater Good.
I give myself a groom over twice before I start sending out pages. I chunk it as Elana suggested here, which I have found gets you revisions much quicker! And is easier to manage as they come in. Instead of doing 100 page chunks, though (see, there's my fave word!), I do it in chapters. Three at a time seems to work the best. At the moment, I'm getting pages back the following day.
Mom helps me talk pretty. My other readers/friends are each experts in the following (by expert I mean much better than I am at spotting and fixing in my own MS) plot, character and format. Each one reads specifically for that one part. That's not to say that my plot reader doesn't catch a spelling error here or there before Mom does. But they focus on just that one aspect. It makes the revisions less scary as well. Each is grooming a different part of my body so it's not all happening as once. A bit easier to part with things that way, I've found.
How do you groom? Do you do it in groups like monkeys? Or one on one like our kitty friends? Or do you hold things close to the vest and do all the grooming yourself?
I am an Humane Education teacher & writer living in Burbank, California. I left television production almost a decade ago to pursue my passion - animals. Along the way, I snagged myself a super handsome, extremely patient and very supportive husband. We rescued three cats - Ol' One Eye Pip, Eowyn the Snow Leopard and Wednesday the Butt. We also ended up with an American Staffordshire Terrier pup, Lily. I co-founded my own non-profit (Paws and Learn Humane Education Center) and spend three days a week in the schools educating kids about kindess to animals, dog bite prevention, city wildlife, pet overpopulation and responsible pet ownership. I love my job, but I also love to write. I spend my spare time writing and daydreaming. I love the outdoors and enjoy hikes with my hubby, friends and our dogs! Life is what we make of it and I am making the most of mine.