If you haven’t read your manuscript, fiction or nonfiction, at least three-to-five times, you’re not ready to publish it yet.
The little command of Control+F on your computer can be a lifesaver. Use it to find all the unnecessary words in your manuscript like “that” or “had” and then eliminate most of them. These are extraneous words. Use it again to find all the passive verbs (like gerunds ending in ‘ing’) and replace them with stronger action verbs.
Use Control + H
If you see a misspelling on the same words consistently or want to change a name, use Control + H. This will find and replace. Type in the word you want to find, and then type in the word you want to replace it with. You can also use this tool to eliminate two spaces between words. You do know that two spaces are not necessary after a period? That was the era of the typewriter. In the “Find” box, type in two spaces. In the “Replace with” box, type in one space. Voila! All the spacing issues in your document are fixed!
You can also use this tool to eliminate two spaces between words. You do know that two spaces are not necessary after a period? That was the era of the typewriter. In the “Find” box, type in two spaces. In the “Replace with” box, type in one space. Voila! All the spacing issues in your document are fixed!
Let Your Computer to Read It To You
Reading your writing is the best way to hear how it sounds to others. You can read it out loud but may skip over words that way too. Download a free app like text-to-speech, and allow your computer to read it to you. You may be surprised how many errors are caught.
Don’t Only Rely on Spellcheck
All writers have learned this lesson -maybe the hard way — me for one. In a recent book, my editor caught many wrong words. I was amazed I hadn’t seen them. “She never knew… was mistyped as “whenever knew…” Words were spelled correctly, but the wrong word was used. If you think spellcheck catches all your errors, guess again. What if you typed “the” and meant “them?” Spellcheck wouldn’t catch it because “the” is a word spelled correctly.
Self-editing is perhaps the hardest part of writing. Who wants to cut out words? But even reading your manuscript over two or five times may not be enough. (Writers love their own words and tend to skip over mistakes unknowingly). Read your words carefully. Seek the help of a good editor, and then get a couple of beta readers who will give you an honest review. You’ll be a better writer for it!