Revising Tips For Self-Editing

November 22, 2015

 

I have no patience whatsoever. When I first started writing I got a couple Beta readers to look at my work but they took too long for me so I went and I started revision before I even got word back from them. This was better as this way when I really did give it to Beta readers they would be able to pick up things I couldn't pick up myself.

 

Here are some tips I use to self-edit.

 

#1 Non-linear

I was once told by a teacher to read my work backwards to pick up spelling mistakes as our brain is very clever. It reads what we intended to write not what is written. It helps if you know grammar rules inside and out before you do this so visit Grammar Girl first.

 

#2 Your quirks

Make a list of your writing quirks. I love the word 'that', so when I write I have to go back and take out the ones that aren't needed. Every writer has their own quirks. Find out what they are and then make a list. Use the find button on word and you can see if there is a pet word you use too often.

 

#3 Replace button

When I find out I messed up a name of a person or town I know it won't be the only one. Or forgetting capitals on place names and people. I use the replace button to fix this. Now do this at the start of the revision. This means if you replaced a word or put in a capital letter where it isn't needed you can pick it up later. An example is this is in my latest book I had the bad guy known as General Murphy but was often just called the General. I missed so many of the capital letters for this it wasn't funny. but you can use the word general in other contexts. So this revision is best done at the beginning in order to pick up General when I mean general.

 

#4 Software

This is last for a reason. Never, ever rely on a computer to pick up your mistakes. They can't pick up miss takes when you mean mistakes. But it is awesome to go over with several of these later on. It is a great way to look at your work in a very different way. I like Ginger in particular and Word spellcheck is actually not that bad. But Grammarly is also decent and there are other programmes that tempt me to play with them.  

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