April 24, at Funny old world, yeh?
Outside of necessary articles and prepositions, you may be surprised at what words you tend to use over and over. Scrivener makes it simple to discover your crutch words and is available for Mac, iOS, and Windows users.
No matter how you determine your crutch words, go back through your manuscript and see where you can remove or replace them. You just time-traveled your manuscript into the 21st century. Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.
Scott Fitzgerald Are you a comma chameleon, adapting that otherwise innocent punctuation mark to do work it was never meant to do?
Or does your manuscript need a semicolonoscopy — a thorough check-up on proper semicolon and colon placement? In an effort to get ideas on the page, we might run rampant over grammar and usage. Yet those squiggles mean something.
At the very least, run spell check before sending your manuscript to an editor or beta reader. You might also consider trying out automated editing programs.
A Review of 6 Automatic Editing Tools provides a great overview of six top editing services. You can also buy the hardcopy version of The Chicago Manual of Stylebut I recommend the online version for its ease of use.
Such formatting makes it easier for beta readers to consume, and editors prefer industry-standard formatting, which allows them more time to edit your actual words instead of tweaking your formatting. Here are some basic formatting tips: Send your manuscript as a Word document. Use double-spaced line spacing.
Use black, point, Times New Roman as the font. Nonfiction authors may opt for no indention, but if they do so they must use full paragraph breaks between every paragraph. Use page breaks between chapters. Cherryh Set aside an hour or two to go through this list with your manuscript, but be careful about over-editing.
A middle path exists between exhausting yourself in a vain attempt for perfection and being too lazy to run spell check. Do yourself and your book a favor and self-edit, but be careful not to go overboard. Plus, going through the editing process with a professional editor will help you become a better self-editor the next time you write a book.
What tips and tricks work best for you?When writing, you should avoid words that are overused and boring. Here is a list of words to avoid and more striking words you can use instead.
Overused and Tired Words. Like a language version of that adage: If there's a gun in the first act, it has to go off in the second. Couple things, Rob: "ing verbs" are called participles.
When employed in a subordinating clause that describes a noun, that clause becomes a participle phrase, and they are . Edit where you write: MS Word for Windows, Google Docs, Chrome, WordPress. Create your own patterns and overused words You can add your own patterns and overused words to .
Five Words You Can Cut. One of the best ways to make your writing stronger is to cut unnecessary words.
Many people tend to over-write, often in a similar way to how they would speak. Words creep in that add no meaning and can make a piece of writing sound . When you’re revising any piece of writing — a novel, a news article, a blog post, marketing copy, etc.
— there are certain words you should delete to make the text stronger and cut your word count. When I’m writing a novel, one of my last drafts focuses on cutting these useless words.
Words are the lifeblood of your writing. They’re what you use to build credibility or diminish it. Words matter. They’re what make your arguments more compelling, your prose stronger, and your craft more captivating. Untrained writers can be careless with their words.
It takes discipline to use these tools well.