10 Editing And Proofreading Tips For Indie Writers

As an indie writer, you'll be editing your texts as well as writing them. Even if you're planning to find publishers at a later date, you'll need to do initial edits in order to improve the quality of your writing and story. Finding an audience and impressing them not only relies on your content, but the technical expertise of your writing. If your manuscript is finished, here's 10 tips to help you get it edited and ready for publication.

1. Put aside time for editing

Editing isn't a quick process, not if it's done properly. Make sure you're leaving enough time to get the job done. Build the time into your writing schedule, so you won't be hurried by other jobs you need to do. If you're not rushed, you can really dedicate sometime to the process and ensure you're doing it right.

2. Avoid distractions

Today it's hard to avoid distractions, wherever you're working. There may be children running around your house, the internet is full of distractions, and you have notifications constantly popping up on your phone. All of these feel as though they're unavoidable, and can stop you from editing effectively. After all, in today's age, it's difficult to really unplug yourself from the outside world. To stop this happening, turn off your phone and internet connection, and shut the door on what's going on outside. It can be difficult as it feels as though you're isolating yourself. Remind yourself that it's not for long, and it's for the good of your manuscript.

3. Print your work out

“It's easier to see what needs to be edited when you're looking at your manuscript in a different way. Print it off and read through it on paper. That will help you look at it from a different angle. This helps more than you would think, as you've spent a long time with this manuscript, and it's easy to miss errors as you know what you meant to say when you were writing. Use a red pen to mark any changes you want to make, so you won't be able to miss them when you get to editing,” suggests Nathan Jims, professional writer at EliteAssignmentHelp.com.

4. Read it backwards

Another good tip is to start from the bottom of your manuscript and read up. You're very attached to your own work, so you can easily miss quite glaring errors on your own writing. Reading it backwards means that you're having to concentrate on how the piece reads on a technical level, making it easier to see the errors. If you're looking to spot errors at the singular word level, such as spelling mistakes, this method will work well for you.

5. Get help

It's not always easy to proofread and edit your own work. Sometimes you just don't have time, or have other commitments. This is especially true if you're working another job while you're writing, as many indie writers do. If this is the case, it's time to get help in to edit the work for you. According to this article, academic writing sites offer excellent and cheap editing assistance. If you're looking for one, Book Report Writing, Essay Roo or Order Essay is a good place to start.

6. Read through again once you edit

Once you've made your edits, give your manuscript another read through. You've made the correct edits, but it can be easy to make typos as you're doing them. The best way to edit is to make several passes at your manuscript, using each pass to check for different errors. For example, you can go through once looking for spelling errors, another time looking for grammatical issues, and so on. This is the most effective way to ensure that you catch everything.

7. Create a personal style guide

You'll have a style that you're trying to stick to when you're writing. Editor Liam Greaves at UKWritings says “Create your own style guide. Include any elements that you feel your writing must include. Having this guide means you'll have a document to refer to when needed.” Once you've made this guide, ensure that you have it hand when you're writing and editing. That way, you'll know exactly how to solve a problem if you come across one.

8. Check your punctuation

Punctuation is one of the easiest things to get wrong, especially if you're writing in a hurry. Some writers feel it's not as important as other issues with their text, but bad punctuation can actually have a serious effect on your writing. Good punctuation is needed to help the flow of your writing, and help readers follow what's happening in the text. When reading through your work, pay special attention to your punctuation, and correct it where it's needed. If you are not sure, check writing guides like Ie vs eg and State Of Writing.

9. Don't be afraid to make cuts

When editing your manuscript, don't be afraid to make cuts where they're needed. Sometimes, you can really like a section of your writing as it's well written and sounds good in isolation, but within the text it just doesn't work. If you're worried, you can certainly keep an original copy saved on your computer. If a section isn't working, then make sure that you either edit it or cut it out entirely.

10. Ask someone else to help

Handing over your writing to someone else feels difficult for most writers, and that's understandable. You've been working on this manuscript for weeks, or even months, and you're close to it. However, that's exactly why a trusted friend should be asked to read over it. They can read it with a critical eye, as they weren't involved in its creation. They'll then be able to pick out issues more easily, and help you see where edits need to be made.

These ten tips will help you get the most out of your writing, and have it polished before publication. Good editing is the key to good writing, so ensure that you're never neglecting this process. After all, even the most casual reader can see the difference when a piece is well edited. Give these tips a try and see for yourself.

The post is written by Mary Walton from SimpleGrad.com.

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