Editing is a difficult task. As a writer it can be hard to see your own mistakes. I myself still struggle with this. I know as I write down the words that create my story I often make a lot of mistakes, because the speed in which an idea comes is faster than my fingers can keep up. The problem is that I cannot see these mistakes because I can only see the story and how it should be in my mind.
Getting that story published and hoping the editor will fix everything is not really a good way to operate. First, because unless your very lucky you will not find publisher, and second you are likely to frustrate your editor . The truth is there are hundreds of thousands of people out there actively seeking publication, and your work must be at its best to get in. However, there are millions of people looking for a good story. So whether you find a publisher, or whether you publish it yourself, you need to make sure your story reaches its potential with good edits, and the story will sell itself.
Okay so you’re thinking, “If I can’t see the problem how can I fix it?” I will tell you there is hope. There are options to help you fix your story, and clean it up. I have learned through experience and I will share with you.
- First utilize the newest version of word. Spell check and watch for over used words, in my case Darkness, and just, remember word is a tool and offers suggestions, consider them all, but they are not law.
- The Second thing I suggest, is use Natural Reader or a similar program. You can download Natural Reader free from. http://www.naturalreaders.com/download.htm. This program will read your book back to you. It is amazing how you can catch little mistakes when you hear the words coming to you. This can weed out spelling problems entirely, and help with bad sentence structure.
- Next, I will tell you for authors their is a useful tool, http://dynamo.dictionary.com/writing-dynamo/dashboard . This tool helps identify structure problems and more. You do have to buy a membership for it, but it is worth it. To hire a line by line editor that could refine these same problems would cost far more.
- Lastly, use your network of friends and family. I know that I personally found people I could trust and they have helped be identify problems, and offered feedback.
The best part about all of it is this is a learning process. As you learn these tricks your writing is bound to improve and the more you write the better you will get. I personally know that the difference in grammar mechanics between my first and my second book is amazing. While admittedly I wrote several collage papers in between the two, I know that for me the biggest helper was the natural reader, and the feedback I received from my own support network.
For the most part though, you must be patient. Once the story is written the real work is just beginning. Editing is a long tenuous process that requires your full attention. Do not forget that your story is worth it, so take the time you need to make it right! Happy Writing!