Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Not Quite Random Thoughts on Revising What You’ve Written

Not Quite Random Thoughts on Revising What You’ve Written

I have been writing a long time; since 1st-grade, for sure, in 1956. I consider myself to be a good writer. Two publishers agree with that assessment enough to publish books I authored or co-authored. Both asked if my manuscripts had been professionally edited before I submitted them.

I was in a quandary. What answer were they looking for?
I answered truthfully, “no.”
They seemed to be impressed.
I took their response to mean I’d done all the editing I need to do.

WRONG!

I have recently pulled two of my CreateSpace books down while I re-edited. I found HUNDREDS of typos, etc… in each. I was embarrassed. And, I vowed it would not happen again.

Therefore, I have been much more conscientious with what I think is finally edited. Recently, I have included one of my good friends who enjoys “finding glitches” when she reads. She now reads all my manuscripts before I do my final edit.

Just last week, Laura Vavz, an outstanding blogger who did a review for The Observers, posted a blog: 5-Writing Apps I can’t live without. I read the article. I downloaded one of the Apps she recommended: Hemingway.

I tried it immediately. I will use it on all my manuscripts before submitting them.

This software does NOT edit for you. It does provide color-coded segments of your text with issues: passive voice, adverbs, difficult reading, very hard to read. It also provides a Grade Level approximation for your text.

The spelling checker works better in "Write" mode than in "Edit" mode. While that's a bit of a bummer, the benefits far outweigh the negatives in this APP.


The screen shot here is of the first half of a novella I'm working on. The file uploaded for this screen shot is 10,000 words long.

What this has done for me is to SLOW ME DOWN. I have evidence of manuscript issues that are clearly marked. Not changing them—or at least considering changing them—is very bad authorship on my part.

I am a finisher. While that trait has served me well in life, it’s not the best trait for an author. Editor is the trait I’m now striving for. Followed of course, by finisher.

Next blog: Story Telling VS. Writing A Story

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor


My website is: www.crdowning.com

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