Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Before You Turn Your Manuscript Over...

Pre-Editing Made Easy:

Daphne Gray-Grant, a writing, and editing coach and author explained in an article: “When I started writing back in high school, I developed the nervous practice of producing a sentence and then going back to edit it, immediately.  Perhaps you do the same thing?  It took me 20 years to understand why editing-while-writing is so destructive – and another three years to stop it.”

“Remember, you should always write as quickly as you can.  Just be sure to edit – later when your manuscript is finished – as slowly as you can bear.  And to edit your work make use of the great tools that are available these days.”

Edit Minion
This free software identifies adverbs, passive voice, duplicate or frequently used words, and sentence length.

Language Tool
A tool that is capable of proofreading more than 20 languages. Style issues will be marked in blue.

Paper Rater
Robust grammar checking tool which allows you to find those pesky mistakes and correct them.

After the Deadline
This program helps writers to avoid spelling errors, gives grammar or style suggestions. You will spend less time editing.

This tool helps writers of novels and short stories to highlight all the issues in their drafts, including misspelled words, and repetitiveness.

My advice is to not use only ONE software, but at least TWO – better THREE – and use them in separate sessions to fine comb your manuscript BEFORE sending it to a professional editor.

… And Why You Still Need an Editor:
Pre-editing will save you money and embarrassment.  However, none of these grammar tools can replace human intelligence.  You will still need a professional editor who then fine-tunes your manuscript for an outstanding, successful book.  Just to give you one example, how your editor will improve your book even more:

Developmental and Line Edit
He or she will give you the “big picture” feedback about structure, style, pacing, and voice. A developmental edit for a work of nonfiction may include feedback about the book’s organizational structure, as well as both stylistic and informational strengths and weaknesses. For fiction manuscripts, developmental editing also includes notes on plot, the point-of-view, and characterization.
Often, a developmental edit is given in the form of a detailed report or letter rather than as notes made directly on the manuscript. Then, there is also the line edit, where your editor will point out specific things such as certain lines of dialogue that don’t sound convincing, or pacing problems in a given section.
Here are even more digital tools for your pre-editing:

Happy Writing and Editing!


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