Editing and proofing – the right tools.

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      Chris SuttonChris

      No writer should edit their own work. Editing is a different task to copy proofing or proofreading. A copy proofer and proofreader are looking for typographical, spelling and grammatical errors. An editor’s task is vastly different. A good editor reads your work for meaning, clarity and readability. He/she can make your book more engaging, more exciting and more enjoyable by simply changing a word or phrase here and there, and moving text around. A good editor does their job so well that the writer’s voice still shines through and leaves no sign that the work has been edited.
      I’m an editor, and I believe I’m a good editor, but I NEVER edit my own work. I’m too invested in it to see that the piece of prose I created at the beginning of Chapter 1, the piece I think is so well written and with which I am so in love, is actually completely confusing, too long winded, has three sentences each of which are over three lines long and needs a complete rewrite! My editor takes it under her wing and suddenly what I meant to say shines through and it’s great.
      So step one is to get a good editor and establish a great relationship of trust and listening.
      The next step is to get your work ready for the editor. No editor should have to correct spelling and typos. You can do that yourself. Just find the right tool. Microsoft Word, or other word processing software with inbuilt spell checking is not good enough. There are editing tools that spell check, grammar check, and create language/writing hints based on the type of writing; fiction, non-fiction, technical, etc. They make such a difference.
      Check out these two, I have found them well worthwhile and each has a free version.
      Grammarly. http://www.grammarly.com
      ProWriting Aid. http://www.prowritingaid.com

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