And today, we come to the final step in the editing journey. You’ve checked your main ideas, made sure all your scenes are relevant to the theme and your character’s journey, checked for extraneous words, and made sure that you are showing, not telling.
The story is polished to the best of your ability. Now it’s time to proofread.
There’s no really easy way to go about this. Proofreading involves going through your story, preferably a couple of times, and looking for mistakes. A word left out here, a typo there, a comma when there should be a full stop.
Sounds easy, right?
Well think again. The trouble is, when we’ve lived with a story for as long as it’s taken to write and edit one, you start to see what you think should be there, not what is really there. Your brain fills in the missing bits, adding that word you left out, and ignoring that extra comma.
There’s no way to make sure you catch every mistake. Even well known books by practiced authors still have mistakes. But there are some tricks you can use to catch as many errors as possible:
* Read your story out loud
* Get a program to read it out loud to you
* Ask a friend to read it
* Change the font, size, line spacing, anything to get you looking at the story with fresh eyes.
* Import it into your e-reader if you can
My next step, after this, is to get a professional editor to look at it. I recomend anyone who is looking to self publish do this, it’s definately worth it.
Hope you enjoyed my series on editing. I’m still working on the last of my novel, pushing on as fast as I can, hoping to get started on the sequel before NaNo is over. If you missed any of the previous Editing 101 posts, click on the links below
Part 1 – The Big Picture
Part 2 – Character Development
Part 3 – Charts and Graphs
Part 4 – Do your Scenes Say What you Think They Do?
Part 5 – Line Editing