Writing a Clean Copy

What is CLEAN COPY and why is it important?

Writing a clean copy is writing that doesn’t need much work by an editor to make it ready for publication. If you write a super clean copy of your manuscript, you are every editor’s dream. However, this is rarely the case.

Clean copy separates the professional writer from the amateur.

It can help to get a good grammar book and style guide. I have the Elements of Style, always an excellent resource. Do a little research and see what people are using the most, what is recommended.

Clean copy is not just writing that flows well and is easy to read. It’s copy that is properly formatted for your intended platform. Are you writing for magazines? Screenplays? Poetry? or working on your great American novel.

This is where critique partners can come in handy. When you think it’s perfect, ready to submit (to whoever) have a few other’s eyes look it over first. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve missed. Then, read it out loud. That’s always where I catch the most of my minor mistakes.

Write a clean copy. Make it the best it can be. Then make it better!

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