The Well-Presented Manuscript is a book, of which this blog is a draft. The final book contains extra material not on the blog, and you can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Oyster, Scribd or Inktera.
I'm Mike Reeves-McMillan, former copy editor and tech writer, current active author (of novels and short stories) and book reviewer. I grew tired of seeing the same simple errors in one published book after another--traditionally published as well as indie--so I decided to write a clear guide to just the things you need to know to come across as professional.
Below is the table of contents for the book, with links to posts on this blog where applicable. Note that the blog is a draft, and I revised and expanded each chapter, and added a lot more material, when writing the book.
I've also written a summary post of the five most common errors, which is included in the revised version of the book (2020) but was not in the original (2015).
Not in the 2020 edition, but to be included in the next edition:
- A guide to when and when not to use a comma with "of course": Of Course There's No Comma.
- Guidance on using (or rather, not using) "alright": Is "alright" all right?
- A different and more nuanced approach to the vexed question of "lie" versus "lay": Laying a lie to rest?
Table of Contents
Basic Building Blocks: Sentence Structure and Punctuation
Nouns and Pronouns
Nouns and Noun Phrases
Adjectives and Adverbs
Avoiding Other Common Errors
Common Factual Errors
Submitting to Editors
How to be a Light Hybrid Author
Get The Well-Presented Manuscript here:
My next nonfiction project is Writing Short: The Craft and Commerce of Short Fiction. The working outline is available here (Google doc). Subscribe in the sidebar if you want to be kept informed.