Have you finished writing your book? Maybe you’re about to send your manuscript to a critique partner, an agent, a publisher, or an editor. Before sending the draft to someone, below are a few simple tricks to help polish your story.
After having edited many manuscripts, I’ve come to realize that writers make similar mistakes, some more/less than others. I've compiled these into 4 simple editing tips for you to use.
Tip #1: Remove Crutch Words
What are crutch words? Crutch words are words or phrases that writers use too often in a story. Here are some commonly used crutch words to check for:
Tip #2: Activate Your Sentences
Tip #3: "Show Don’t Tell" Simplified
There are two main mistakes I see, regarding showing versus telling.
Tip #4: Utilize Editing Programs
I use the upgraded version of Grammarly, but the free version is helpful as well. The program isn’t always correct, but it catches many misspellings and misused words. The best thing about the software is it can be programmed to work directly in Microsoft Word, which prevents you from having to copy and paste your work into the Grammarly app.
Hemingway Editor isn’t free, but it doesn’t cost much. This program will point out long sentences that can be shortened, overused adverbs and adjectives, confusing structures, etc.
By using these two programs together, you’ll definitely improve your writing.
I hope these tips and tricks have helped you. Editing can be difficult, and some writers can’t afford editors, but no matter what your circumstances are, try to have other people read your finished manuscript to point out mistakes you’ve missed.
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