On the screen we need much more white space than on a page. For online pieces, paragraphs can be one to three sentences long. Avoid comma splices, where a comma is used instead of a full stop. This makes it easier to see errors like missing punctuation, extra spaces, or duplicate words. Always start a new paragraph when there is a change in: You might also want to break the paragraph to emphasize a particular sentence. Use text to speech to have your computer read to you. The spell checker is very useful for catching spelling errors.
This is the number-one method to catch awkward or choppy dialogue, repeated words, and long sentences. This is standard on Macs: open System Preferences, then Dictation and Speech. However, it will not highlight typos that are real words, for example, “bets” rather than “best.” You’ll see them on a print copy and hear them on audio.
(If you meet a writer who claims to have the secret for doing so, please let the rest of us know!
) First drafts — and second drafts and sometimes thirds — exist to hash your ideas out on paper.
Her heartbeat kept pace with the footsteps racing ever closer. There’s much more to this subject than this article can cover.
There are many other useful resources to choose from.It’s essential to read through your print copy more than once to catch typos, even when the spelling check is complete.Homonyms are words with the same sound or spelling but different meanings.For instance: by Renni King and Dave Brown gives in-depth advice on all aspects of editing. Pat Aitcheson writes fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.Now try applying some of these simple changes to your work. She won first prize in the 2017 HE Bates Short Story Competition.She contributes a monthly story to a local lifestyle magazine.Writers rarely spit out their best copy on the first draft.Cut jargon, slang, unusual, or long words unless they are essential to your point. Reading age of popular media (years)The Sun tabloid newspaper 7-9Harry Potter 12-13Improve readability by splitting long sentences and making paragraphs shorter.The has both free and paid versions, which allow you to check for readability, adverbs, passive voice and more.This self-editing checklist covers the basics of self-editing so you can get your work looking its best. Don’t tempt readers to click away or put your book down because of careless mistakes in grammar or construction.Writing and editing are different skills with different mindsets.