Do you write without fear, but dread editing?
You're not alone. Editing can be a daunting task, making you want to throw your draft out the window. Here are six manageable tips to get you through the process.
Whether it is a few hours or a few weeks, this cooling off period will allow you to come back refreshed.
A simple list may include rules for punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and spelling. You may also add word choice, structure, format, or any other category you choose. You can find a list of tools at the end of this post.
Hearing your words will help you catch phrases that don’t flow and find sections you don’t need. Look for opportunities for show, don’t tell; give each character a distinct voice; and be consistent with point of view and verb tense. Delete and/or replace clichés, adverbs, and overused words. Read it aloud again and edit without mercy.
A fresh pair of eyes will help. Remember, your brain knows what you're trying to say so it may gloss over simple errors.
Editing while writing can stifle your creativity and slow your progress. Best-selling author Jerry Jenkins describes his process as writing in one session, then reading and editing in the next session before continuing to write.
Self-editing programs can be a wonderful resource. However, they’re not perfect. You will still have to make discretionary choices. You can find a list of programs at the end of this post.
Goes beyond spelling and grammar. Takes into account full sentences to suggest context-based corrections.
Helps with spelling and grammar basics, points out unclear sentences, suggest stronger word choices, keeps your tone consistent, and more.
Highlights repetitiveness, vague wording, sentence length variation, excessive adverbs, passive voice, complicated sentence constructions, and more
InkWell is not affiliated with any of the resources listed.