Share Your Writing and Editing Tips

I am so sorry!As authors we love to write and we are often certain that we did a super job editing our work. Proofread and edit as we might, there are still times that we miss something.

For the most part these errors are harmless, but occasionally they can be embarrassing or even mortifying.

To help one another on our writing journey, please scroll down and share your favorite writing, proofreading, and/or editing tips.

Thank you for sharing your ideas and enjoy gleaning pearls of wisdom from one another.

With much appreciation,
D’vorah

Comments

  1. The best tip for writing I know is to spend half an hour reading your rough draft or research material before taking a nap or going to bed for the night.

    While you sleep, your subconscious mind will work on the project, and you will wake up with a much clearer vision to write.

    • I totally agree with Don, I edit and re-read what I wrote and then forget about it usually I go to sleep. Most times I wake up realizing I have spelled something wrong or said something in an awkward way. Amazing how your subconscious works.

    • I have definitely co-opted my subconscious mind in the writing process. You will always have a different take after a good night sleep. The only thing is I could never get my editors to pay my subconscious mind for over time when I worked as a freelancer!

  2. I find that as I beta read the work for fellow authors, I remember the points of good creative writing better and recognize errors in my own writing more easily.

  3. I use Word for editing first – it is not good for creative writing but it does recognise basic faults.
    I then use Grammarly – you need to have a good understanding of english to use this and it recognises creative writing.
    The problems start when they conflict with each other – no problem I just do a rewrite. I find this editing is fun with great concentration

    • hperlberger says:

      I didn’t know about Grammarly. I just signed up – this was a huge stressor as I am finalizing my book. Thanks for sharing that tip.

  4. I love Ivona! (No, I don’t work for them or get anything back from them.) I use this program for the final catch-all-the-typos edit…’Joey’ reads the book to me while I follow along on paper or screen. Amazing how helpful the is. Joey’s my guy!

  5. Life is too short to obsess about little typos. I dislike grammar mistakes but typos are not important.

  6. I keep a list of homophones and similarly spelled words and use find tool in Microsoft Word to make sure I haven’t made any mistakes with these words. Sometimes you think you’ve got everything and then at the last minute you realise you’re serving dark chocolate mouse for desert at your wedding.

    Reading the writing aloud is also a good way to pick up typos, as well as problematic sentences.

  7. Susie says:

    I like to simply type in word as fast as the creative flow allows. I may notice and correct some grammar as I go but often greater clarity comes to me on re-reading that day’s work.

    I always allow inspiration to guide me and therefore if the idea strikes that a reread is necessary at any particular chapter, beginning middle or end, I simply act.

    Giving a voice to ego allowing it to constantly enforce action through repetitive re-reading seems to cease the creative flow for me.

    I haven’t written anything toward a new book that I see at this moment, for some time, however writing is an everyday passion for me. Facebook, email, messenger, word: whatever form arises. I love it all.

    When inspiration arises to gather together documents I have created then a new book simply falls into place, fairly readily.

    I write from flow and have no beliefs regarding writer’s block, procrastination or such.
    I don’t sweat the small stuff.

    By the time my work reaches an editor, it is editor ready.

    • Thank you so much, all of you, for the comments. Reading Susie give me permission to try what works for her. When the prose doesn’t flow, I push. Pushing yourself is good because it stops procrastination, which I seem to have a lot of. Does anyone else in this stream write for children?

  8. I find it rather amazing that many writers do not seem to make use of simple spell check and similar functions; this should be done on anything that goes out for an author, yet it seems to be common practice to forget this. In my opinion no author should put up even the most minor comment without a basic check first. Write and change *everything* in a word processing program; now it also functions as a valuable backup and record.
    Read your writing again and again, out loud too. Read the work as if you are a stranger to the concepts. (The older kindles have reading modes; put your writing quickly into a format that uses the reader then listen, also have others read it out too, find the stumbles and adjust. (Keep a clearly marked copy of your changes; copy, use notations, and highlighting changes can really help to solve problems.) Now if the words don’t flow well, get rid of the overworked, unclear junk. This has taught me that it is better say it as well as you can, as shortly as you can make it. Today’s writing cannot be too verbose or it dies. Be willing to kill your pet creations and communicate better by scouring for problems.
    Do this and you will become a better writer.
    Always wishing the very Best!
    Victor Brodt

  9. I often find my writing inspiration while doing other things: housework, exercise, driving in the car. I may have a story idea, but a new approach will arise while I’m not focusing on writing.
    My creativity is sparked by reading other writers’ work. I had difficulty beginning the sequel to my first memoir until I read a work of fiction that gave me a new way to begin its sequel.
    With five books in progress at the moment, I have endless ideas.
    Libby J. Atwater

  10. I walk away for a while and then review what I’ve written with fresh eyes. Also, I recommend using Grammarly.com and/or hiring an editor to proofread your book. It is an investment but a worthwhile one. I just released a series of how-to write, publish & sell your book and who would want to buy these books (or any others) that are riddled with grammatical and punctuation errors?

  11. I have just finished a new book of four short stories in the Jim Long space agent series. It was a new concept for me after writing five complete full-length novels. It was fun writing two stories at once. I do not tend to run out of ideas because of endless research. Sometimes you need to stop to see where you are going then switching to the other story. A rough idea of the ending is always in mind, but there are no long gaps of writer’s block.

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