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Editing tools
Joani Davis
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013 10:27 AM
Joined: 4/3/2013
Posts: 20


How many of you read your work out loud? What other editing tricks do you use to catch mistakes or fix difficult areas in your work?
Toni Smalley
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2013 11:03 PM
Reading out loud is number one on my list of catching badly structured sentences. Also, editing a hard copy instead of editing the story on your monitor helps in catching grammatical errors. This way you can use your red pen to highlight areas of concern or to correct grammatical errors.

I might also make my boyfriend read it out loud to me. For some reason, this helps me distance myself from my work. I pretend it is something he wrote, and I usually become more critical and call him a dumbass for having structured a sentence so asininely.  
 
Joani Davis
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 11:38 AM
Joined: 4/3/2013
Posts: 20


Some good ideas. I do use ProWritingAid when editing but it is limited and doesn't pick up things like structural problems. One thing it does do is show you things like repeated words that you may be using without even realizing it . . . ie . . . like 'just', 'forward', etc. It also picks up long sentences that may be better if broken up. ProWritingAid does have it's uses and it works in conjunction with Word.


Toni Smalley
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 11:42 AM
I'll have to check out ProWritingAid. Sounds like a great editing tool! 
Andrea Matthews
Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013 11:34 PM
Joined: 6/8/2013
Posts: 25


   I always try to read out loud.  I find that if I stumble over a word while I'm reading, it is usually a good sign that it needs to be changed.  It also helps when I'm writing dialogue as it helps keep it sounding real.  
   One trick I've used, especially when writing dialogue, is to record it.  Sometimes a proposed conversation runs through my head faster than I can type, and I've found talking it through and recording it helps to keep it sounding natural.
    I also have a few friends who are avid readers, and who happen to be brutally honest as well. It is humbling, but it helps.

Joani Davis
Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013 5:16 PM
Joined: 4/3/2013
Posts: 20


I haven't tried recording yet.  Sounds interesting. I do have friends read my early work. They have no problem offering their opinions. LOL 

My biggest problem is spending to much time looking at a piece and glossing over it. I miss simple mistakes. Reading allowed has stopped a lot othat nonsense.

Andrea Matthews
Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013 10:18 PM
Joined: 6/8/2013
Posts: 25


That can be a problem.  Sometimes I try putting it aside for a while and working on something else.  That way when I go back to it, I have a fresh set of eyes on it.  I definitely do that between drafts, especially since I view proof reading as a very necessary evil.  lol 

Joani Davis
Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013 1:00 AM
Joined: 4/3/2013
Posts: 20


Evil is the correct word. LOL

Toni Smalley
Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2013 3:43 PM
@Andrea: Recording it? I'm sooo doing that! I can't believe I haven't thought of that before. I am out in the boonies, and have no writer friends around these parts. If I record my story, I can then pretend to have a split personality disorder and take on the mindset of someone else when I play it back
DJS
Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2013 3:25 PM
A ruthless proofreader is priceless. And it ain't you, babe. Nor your spouse, nor boyfriend. Get someone out of house, who has no
qualms about tramping on your tender sensibilities, who will question everything, who has the honesty and dedication to not cut you any slack. And guess what? If you think you're capable of proofreading your own material by reading out loud, you'll read it as though its been corrected, passing over a discrepancy your eyes refused to see.
DJS
Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 11:57 AM


Editing should never be done while still wearing the writer's hat. Writing and editing are two separate processes. Back when authors wrote on manual typewriters, editing waited patiently until a draft was completed, because it was a bloody nuisance to make corrections on the fly. Now with computers, editing and writing can be done simultaneously, a procedure that essentially eliminates writing completed drafts prior to editing. Writing on a computer, with its inherent ability to eliminate the essential hiatus between the two processes, is responsible for much of the lackluster writing being cranked out in this Cybernetic Age. Maybe, if we plan to write the commonplace three drafts, the first two drafts could be composed on a typewriter, where ambulance chasing editing is highly discouraged. The final draft could be done on the computer, with its ability to produce clean, error-free manuscripts.

I have always considered writing to be a musical form, the words on their pages capable of being conducted like a musical score. Every sour note blared indicates words impeding on the rhythm and needing to be reworked or removed. If your writing doesn't sing, or if you're waiting for the fat lady to bail you out, the words, even when thoughtfully rendered, will never soar and your work will remain as flat as your grandmother's iron.


 

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