You've finally written the last word of your manuscript, and it's all done and dusted. You're now a fully fledged writer! However, after the writing comes the editing, and that's where some writers become unstuck. If you're wondering where to start with editing, don't worry. Here are the best tips for editing your book and getting it polished, ready for publication.
Let the manuscript rest
You're eager to get started and get your manuscript edited, but it's best to leave it for a while. If you can bear it, leave it a whole week before you look at it again. Doing this is advisable as it gives you some distance from the text. When you come back to it, you want to have forgotten some of it, so it's easier to see where edits need to be made.
Read it out loud
“Reading your text out loud sounds like it's kind of ridiculous, but in fact it's a tried and tested proofreading tool. When you read the book out loud, you can get a real feel for how the story flows and sounds to the reader,” suggests a chief editor of BoomEssays. As you're reading, it'll be much easier to see where errors have been made, so you can mark them down to be corrected.
Print it out
As well as reading your text out loud, make sure that you print it out, too. This works in a similar way. If you read directly off the computer screen, it can be harder to spot the mistakes you've made. If you print it out, though, you're looking at the book in another medium. This way, you can see the errors right away. It's time to bring out the red pen and mark up that text.
Use online tools
When editing, there are plenty of tools online that will help make the job easier. Try using some of these tools as you edit your ebook:
- Easy Word Count: This tool will give you an accurate word count for your manuscript. It also highlights any errors made in writing.
- Write My Assignment: If you're not sure where to start with editing, the editors here can show you what to do.
- Cite It In: If you use sources in your book, use this tool. It will give you the right citations for everything you use.
- Custom Essay: This website is an excellent resource for grammar, if you feel yours needs some help.
- Proofread Bot: Paste your text into this tool, and it will highlight any errors that have been made.
- Paper Writers: This writing community can work with you if you want an extra pair of eyes on your manuscript.
Recognize and remove your crutch words
Every writer has words that they use more often than they need to. Go through your book, and look for the words that crop up over and over again. There may be a few that instantly jump out at you, and these are your crutch words. When you find them, edit or remove them to give your book more variety and interest.
Be careful not to over edit
Editing is vital, but it is possible to over edit your work. Try not to sit too long with it, because you might start seeing issues where there are none. A good way of avoiding this is by taking regular breaks. Another way is to give the manuscript to a trusted friend, and ask their opinion.
Editing and proofreading can be simple when you know how. Use these tips, and write the best text you possibly can.
image by Gamma-Ray Productions