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Editing Tips for Self-Published Authors

Happy Wednesday everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts last week... I was feeling majorly uninspired and unmotivated. I've also been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately and that's made it hard to focus on things, along with editing Wayward like crazy and researching promotional stuff and all that. I'm determined for Wayward's launch to be a success.

But anyways, since I'm at that phase of editing where you can't stand to read your book again and think it sounds horrible and is boring and awful, I thought I'd do a post on editing because why not? These aren't just for self-published authors. These can be for writers of all kinds and are just a few things I've picked up while editing Wayward.


  • Print it out! I know some people don't like to print their manuscripts out cuz it uses up a lot of paper but it is so worth it. For a while I would go to Office Max or Staples and have them print it out but it ended up costing too much money. Since then, I've started printing them out at home and sticking my manuscripts in folders instead of binders (cuz punching holes into a 300 something page book is not fun at all). But I can't tell you how helpful this has been. You use a different part of your brain when you read on paper than you do when you read on the computer. Even when you read on the Kindle it's different. You won't pick up on as much as you will if you read your book on paper. Also, there's just something about having a pen in hand and marking up the paper that feels really good haha And when you have to plug all your changes back into the Word document (or whatever you use on your computer), you're pretty much reading over it a second time. For me, I make the changes and then use the comments feature on Word to add comments I had written off to the side for myself. Then once I added or deleted words and paragraphs and all that stuff, I go through it a third time and implement the comments I had made in the document. 
  • Use free editing software. I don't have the money to subscribe to or buy these fancy editing softwares, and honestly, I don't know if I would use them enough for my money to be worth it, you know? So instead, I have a few small programs that I use all the time and that work wonders. First, you definitely need to check out the Hemingway app, which you can find (here). When I first tried using it, I had a hard time understanding how it was very helpful. It points out sentence structure and writing style errors. But when I tried using it again for Wayward, I realized how helpful it is! The other one I use literally all the time is Scribens. I suck at grammar so much and this program has been so helpful in pointing out my grammatical errors. Especially when it comes to commas. Commas have always stumped me, so the fact that Scribens shows me where to put them is super helpful. 
  • Read Aloud. I've heard this from many writers for many years. Read your story out loud or have it read to you. You'll pick up on things you wouldn't have if you were just reading it. I never really bought into it. It just seemed like too much time... But then for Wayward, I realized I needed to go over it again. I needed to proofread it and I really hate proofreading, especially on a computer. I didn't feel like printing it all out again and using all that ink and paper and I didn't feel like waiting for a proofcopy to arrive to mark up. So, I decided to give the Read Aloud feature on Word a try. It. Is. Amazing! I will definitely be using it for my proofreading from here on out. I've noticed so many things I would have missed if I was reading it myself. I also realized that for me, proofreading takes a lot of mental energy. Like, having to read over my book for what feels like the hundredth time while also having to be meticulous about sentence structure and word choice and phrasing is so, so daunting to me. So the fact that I can have this computerized voice read it out loud to me makes life ten times easier. 
Those are a few editing tricks I've discovered while editing Wayward. I hope this is helpful to you and that they help you with your editing process too. Editing can be daunting and one of the hardest parts of the writing process (for me anyways), so anything that will make it easier is much appreciated. 


Have a great week everyone!

What are some of your favorite editing tips and tricks?

Comments

  1. Reading the story aloud is so helpful! And I use Grammarly for little grammar errors that are easy to miss. I haven’t tried printing out my manuscript yet because of money and time. XD

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    Replies
    1. I've tried using Grammarly but it just doesn't do it for me haha Yess! It takes a lot of time and a whole lot of money for ink and paper... That's why I only print my manuscripts out once. XD

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