How to Self-Edit Your Book (and other writing content)
There are a few different options authors have when searching for a way to help them self-edit their books.
If you’re working in Word, you can use the built-in “checkers” by either running them once you’ve finished your document or by letting it run in the background while you write, or both.
Or if you are seeking an online service, there are also some programs you can download to your computer and/or internet plug-ins which will run in the background as you write and allow you to run a thorough check once you’ve finished.
No matter which route you choose, every author should absolutely use some method to check their writing during and after the writing process. Because, let’s face it…none of us are perfect.
Now, as an award-winning author, editor, and writing coach, you know I must tell you that you should never self-publish your novel or even submit to agents and traditional publishers until/unless you’ve hired a professional editor, as no one, not even veteran authors, can catch all of their own mistakes. Besides, no writing program, no matter how fantastic, can pick up on context in your narrative or search for content issues like plot holes, character development issues, and other inconsistencies.
And you should never rely solely on any writing aide to catch everything, as no one system is every going to replace the human brain or a trained, skilled professional eye.
However, I’m still a proponent of using a writing aid during and after your writing process to not only help catch minor mistakes, but to guide you as you go. These aids can also help when formatting emails and social media posts (if you have them added as an internet plug-in), which we all know is a blessing, considering we fire those off pretty rapidly, since life can be so chaotic that we just don’t have time to thoroughly proofread every email and every post.
The absolute best writing aide I’ve discovered is Pro Writing Aid. And today, I want to tell you how Pro Writing Aid can be your editing sidekick when you write not only novels but emails and other online content.
1. Edit Faster – suggests thousands of style improvements so you can get through the self-editing process much faster
2. Fixes Style Issues – searches out elements like repetitiveness, vague wording, sentence length variation, over-dependence on adverbs, passive voice, over-complicated sentence constructions, and so much more (25 reports in all.)
3. Eliminate Errors – helps your writing look more professional and avoid publishing content full of errors
4. Find the Right Words – their word explorer and contextual thesaurus help you find the perfect words to make your point
5. Learn as you Edit – report improvements in their writing as it allows them to see and eliminate their own bad habits and common mistakes
Now, as I said before, writing aids such as this are NOT meant to replace the need for professional editors. If that were the case, I would be out of a job. And let’s be honest, no computer system is every 100% foolproof or accurate. But if you’re seeking a way to help you self-edit as you write and before you send to your editor/agent/publisher, there’s no better service I’ve found but Pro Writing Aid.
Yes, everyone has heard of Grammarly, and a ton of people use it. But I deleted it a long time ago for two reasons:
1. It does not offer even half the features Pro Writing Aid offers; and2. It not only missed more than 50% of the errors I had in my book, but it suggested dozens of “corrections” that were incorrect.
So, you have my permission to use a writing aid, as long as you don’t consider editors obsolete just because you use a writing aid. Click on the logo below to learn more about Pro Writing Aid and to start your free trial today!
Talk soon,And in the meantime, write your best book!Christina KayeEditor/Writing Coach atTop Shelf Editing