21 Do-It-Yourself Editing Tips by Melissa Donovan http://www.writingforword.com, July 4, 2017
*proofreading and editing
*Tips for Editing Your Own Work.
*The human mind is a funny thing; it likes to play tricks on us.
For example, when we proofread and edit our own writing, we tend to read it as we think it should be, which means we misread our own typos and other spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as well as problems with word choice and sentence structure, context, and overall readability.
Do-It-Yourself Editing Tips
Here are twenty-one do-it-yourself editing tips that you can put into practice for polishing your own writing:
- Proofread and edit every single piece of writing before it is seen by another set of eyes. No exceptions. Even if you hire a professional editor or proofreader, check your work first.
- Understand the difference between proofreading and editing. Edit first by making revisions to the content and syntax. Then proofread to check for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Use the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word when you edit. This feature saves your edits. You can then review the changes you’ve made and approve or reject them.
- Step away from a piece of writing before you proofread it. The longer the piece, the longer you should wait to proofread it. Let a novel sit for a few weeks. Let a blog post sit overnight.
- Before proofreading and editing, run the spelling and grammar checker. Then run it again after you’re done polishing to check for any lingering typos. However, don’t count on software for spelling and grammar. Use it as a fail-safe.
- Read your work aloud. Pronounce each word slowly and clearly as you read and check for mistakes.
- Proofreading should never be a rush job. Do it s l o w l y.
- Don’t review your work once and then send it out into the world. I recommend editing until the piece reads smoothly and then proofreading it at least three more times.
- At the very least, proofread until you don’t catch any more errors.
- Read the piece backward so you can see each word separately and out of context.
- Look up the spelling of proper names as well as scientific and technical terms that you’re not familiar with to make sure you’re spelling them correctly.
- Don’t make any assumptions. If you’re not sure about something, look it up so you can fix a mistake (if there is one) and learn the correct way.
- Don’t forget to proofread titles, headlines, and footnotes.
- Pay attention to the mistakes you’ve made in your writing. You’ll find that you tend to make the same ones repeatedly. Keep track of these and work on avoiding them during the initial writing process in the future.
- Choose one of the many style guides and stick with it. This will make your work more consistent, and you’ll have a trusty resource to use when you have questions about style and formatting.
- Start building a collection of grammar books and writing resources so when you do run into questions (and you will), you have access to reliable and credible answers.
- If you intentionally let grammatical mistakes slip through, do so by choice and make sure you have a good reason. It’s okay to break the rules if you know why you’re breaking them.
- Pay attention to formatting. Use the same formatting on all paragraphs and headings for a professional level of consistency. Learn how to use these features in your word processing software (in MS Word, this feature is called Styles).
- Proofread when you’re fresh and wide awake. Proofreading doesn’t go over well when you’re tired or distracted.
- Proofreading and editing can be tedious, so break up your revision sessions by doing other tasks that help you clear your mind: exercise, play with the pets or kids, go for a short walk, or listen to some music. Try to avoid reading or writing during these breaks.
- Make it your business to develop good grammar skills. Read up on grammar or subscribe to a blog that publishes grammar posts (like this one) to stay up to date on proper grammar.
Some people love the proofreading and editing process. Others despise it. If you’re into grammar, the mechanics of writing, and polishing your work, then proofreading and editing will be easier and more enjoyable for you. If not, just look at it as part of your job — something that goes along with being a writer. And once you’re done proofreading and editing, make sure you get back to your writing.
Adventures in Writing: The Complete Collection
Reading Aggravated Momentum, a murder mystery, by author Didi Oviatt, is like stepping into the life of a real serial killer. Adding to the story are two sisters, Kam and Markie. Markie has no idea that a friend is plotting the deaths of her other friends and even Markie herself. This friend is meticulously good at hiding his murderous deeds and enjoys every step into murder with glee.
The writer also allows the reader to see, from the victims’ point of view, the terror, fear, and shock as it is happening in real time – as the victim begins to realize what is going to happen with disbelief, and no amount of reason, begging or pleading will change the outcome. At first, you don’t have a clue who the murderer is, but then the murderer lets you in on his murders and his plans for more murders, as he licks his lips with sexually sadistic anticipation.
The author has fashioned this murderer in such a way that you get to go inside his mind, see how he thinks, feel his emotions, his thought processes and his sadistic appetite for torture. Aggravated Momentum is so well written that you are taken into the story in a very real way, knowing that this kind of murdering individual could be anyone you know.
The realism is so incredibly well done that it is one of the most terrifying depictions of its kind that I have ever read. It will terrify you and you may never look at your neighbors and friends in the same way again. The idiom, “you never really know anyone”, comes alive in this story like never before. Aggravated momentum lives up to its title in a very real way and you can’t even guess the ending. I highly recommend this journey into the mind of a real-to-life, sexually sadistic murderer. 5 Stars !
Visit J. J Sylvester’s website and see a sample of his books: via https://theeverplanes.com/2017/04/23/the-son-of-nepal
5 Stars! This intriguing novel, The Son of Nepal, by author J.J Sylvester, is a fascinating and uniquely beautiful story. It is told with a Middle Eastern flair for story-telling, that I found utterly enchanting. When a novel can transport the reader to a different place and time – that is extraordinary. It is beautifully written, with a lush cadence like prose that moves brilliantly through the entire novel.
Johannan, our hero, is very brave in his pursuit to find a cure for his beloved’s blindness and gives himself over to be used by a Great Spirit, such is his desire to return the gift of sight to his beloved. What is Johannan to learn from his quest, as he searches for months on end to find the magical cure, but only a true heart, he has been told, will the Great Spirit choose to grant Johannan’s wish. Johannan suffers great hardship in his pursuit to find a cure for his beloved, and therefore, he should be rewarded, shouldn’t he?
Will the parables this novel evokes ring true or will they not? We are often told: be careful what you wish for, true love conquers all, think before you leap, and everything comes with a price!” What price will Johannan pay or will the Great Spirit, bestow on him the happy life that Johannan has sacrificed so much to achieve for his beloved? Johannan’s story is powerful and is so meaningful, even about our own lives, that we should take heed, for we are vulnerable as well. Is what we wish for honorable and good? It is only in our hearts, that will it ring true. I highly recommend The Son of Nepal.
My summary of K.M. Weiland’s excellent article presented in Writer’s Digest, Work Book: Exercises and Tips for Honing Specific Aspects of Your Writing presents the key points of her exceptional article via Writer’s Digest 2014 Reblog. It is especially for writers penning their first novel, but also for seasoned writers to again remember a classic, Jane Eyre, a novel that was ahead of its time, by Charlotte Brontë. Often, reading classics, as most of us do, gives us fresh insight to dramatic storytelling par excellence. K.M. Weiland gives us 10 distinct techniques for dramatic masterful writing.
- Hook: Start in the middle of some type of interaction within environment, statement, or internal angst to provoke reader curiosity.
- Characteristic Moment: Reveal/show a personality trait of the Protagonist.
- Setting Description of Scene: Start broadly, and then zoom in.
- Symbolism: Small details set story’s tone and foreshadows its course.
- The World Protagonist Inhabits: demonstrate character’s interior and exterior world.
- Back Story: Intersperse with dialogue, don’t dump back story in long paragraphs in chapter 1.
- The Premise of Story: Present the Dramatic Question early on, involving the moral foundation, the impetus that drives the story forward.
- Physical Actions: The physical movements of characters interspersed throughout dialogue increases depth of character traits.
- Protagonist’s Belief: Once Dramatic Question is identified, writer presents obstacles for protagonist until she/he can relinquish belief/misconception and meet deepest needs.
10.Extraordinary Factor: What makes the Protagonist important? How at odds is protagonist in his/her world with others that creates friction, tension, and thus the central conflict of story premise.
***see Writer’s Digest, October 2014 edition, for full article.