Tips for Authors before you submit your manuscript for editing or publication

Don't change point of view within the same work

I get a lot of self-development manuscripts to edit, and they regularly have the same problems. One of the most common problems is changing person within the same sentence, paragraph or sometimes throughout an entire book. I'm not talking about the POV as first, second or third person that is found in fiction. I'm talking about the use of 'they', 'we' and 'you'. Here's an example:

When you try to lose weight, pay attention to what you eat. People don't need to eat meat to be healthy, and we use all sorts of excuses to continue to eat meat and dairy products, even though the scientific evidence is out there that they don't need them.

Okay, this is a made-up example, but I hope you understand what I mean.

The solution is to pick one point of view, and use it throughout your document. If you are writing a self-help book, you can use the second person ('you') throughout. More academic and formal works would probably use the third person (he, she, they).