A few days ago I got critiques returned from the Magic Moments Contest through the Heart and Scroll chapter of RWA. No, I did not win any prize. I did, however, get some very detailed critiques.
Since then I have done an
For each one I read through the sentence and judged whether or not the word was necessary. If there was a way to make the sentence less: wordy, passive, redundant
I have also done an
I found I used 'majesties' when I meant to use the singular possessive form. The critique caught it once. Find/Replace caught it five times. How embarrassing.
For not winning anything, it was totally worth the $25. Yes, they only looked over ten pages but the advice worked throughout the manuscript. Even if they had not returned their edited copies of my ms, the judging page had oodles of information. It was a rubric for my ms broken into Mechanics, Characters, Scene and Setting, and Plot. It helped me know what my reading demographic thought was done right and done wrong. It was very useful information (might I add, this is the sort of thing that is missing from Golden Heart - random score numbers don't help much).
I look forward to being finished with this round of edits. Yes, I know -- there is no true point where a work is really finished. I have to chose to be done, and that will be any day now. Then I will send off this current draft and pray that the publisher is still interested. If all goes well there, then a whole new editing process will begin when they let me know specific changes.