5 Resources for Self-Editing

Editing… Ugh! Editing anything can be a daunting task. As a indie writer on a tight budget I have to edit all of my own stuff first before I send it to anyone else. I do this to cut costs, and to not look like the blithering, grammar challenged ding dong that I am behind closed doors. Putting out your writing can be a very scary task when you don’t know if all of your letters on the page are in the right order, and have all of their little symbols in the right spot.
It has been said that editing is the most important part of the writing process, and I couldn’t agree more. If you’re into percentages, I would say your actual writing is about 15 percent of the process, and editing takes up the other 85 percent. I spend more time editing than I do actually writing my stories. Fortunately we live in a time where the internet is chock full of resources for our problems. Yes guys it’s true. The internet isn’t just for cat videos, and porn anymore. Who Knew!

I am not saying you don’t need to have an editor, but Self-editing will help in the process, and save you lots of money.

I found a ton of information for writers who are feeling over burdened by editing like I was. Here’s a list of five.

1) I found a site that has cut my editing time in half. It’s called Pro Writing Aid. This site is awesome for the story writer like me, or for the person that needs to write a blog post, or hell even a business letter. And get this, it’s will cost you the big F word! Yes you heard me! No not that F word Captain Dirty Mouth! The F word meaning FREE! However, if you want to use their more complex editing tools packages start out at only 35 dollars a year. Here are some of the features with Pro Writing Aid.

  • Check for hidden and passive verbs
  • Identify overuse of adverbs and glue words
  • Locate repetitive sentence structure
  • Replace commonly overused words
  • Reveal repeated words and phrases
  • Eliminate vague, abstract and complex words
  • Remove clichés and redundancies

2) The book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne & Dave King is a must have for anyone that wants to learn more about the craft of writing. Renni Browne was once the senior editor at William Morrow, and has founded The Editorial Department , which is a national book-editing company. Dave King is a contributing editor at Writer’s Digest, and is an independent editor. So these two know what they are talking about when it comes to the written word. You can pick it up on amazon for a few dollars. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers description.

“Hundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stories.

In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.”

3) Scrivener is writing software, but it does have some editing capabilities. I use scrivener to write everything. With it’s ability to move chunks of text around, and the cork-board feature, it’s like having another brain. If you are serious about writing, Scrivener is a must have. The software cost $40 dollars and you can get it here.

  • Corkboard – In Scrivener, every document is attached to a virtual index card onto which you can jot a synopsis; moving the cards on Scrivener’s corkboard rearranges their associated text in your draft.
  • Outliner – View and edit the synopses and meta-data of your documents in Scrivener’s powerful outliner. Organise your ideas using as many or few levels as you want and drag and drop to restructure your work.
  • Scrivenings – Scrivener’s innovative “Scrivenings” mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole.
  • Statistics and Targets – A live word and character count of the current section is always in view at the bottom of the screen, and you can set a word or character count target for each section.
  • Full-Screen – Because sometimes you want to blank out the rest of the world while you write – or at least the rest of the screen. One click in Scrivener’s toolbar and you can leave the rest of your desktop behind and write distraction free.

4) After The deadline is editing software that is free for personal use. It checks spelling, style, and grammar, among other things. It also has tips on how to become better at editing. http://www.afterthedeadline.com/

5) NewNovelist Version 3 Second Edition (Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista) Is affordable writing software for beginners.

  • Help and advice on how to write a novel
  • Tried and proven writing methodology with creative writing advice
  • Dedicated novel writers word processor with voice recognition dictation and read-back
  • Facilities to build up plots and characters to implement into your novel
  • Advanced review and publishing tools

I Hope this helped all my writing friends. If you find any other resources please let me know in the comments below. I look forward to your feedback. As always you can find my writing on Amazon. I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it. By the way I am sure there are editing mistakes in this post. Thank you for noticing. 🙂

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Author: ErnieHoward

Ernie Howard was born on January 29,1977 during a Minnesota blizzard. His two story telling parents almost didn't make it to the hospital in their beat up blue Cadillac. Ernie is the writer of "Inspiration for the struggling writer" available on Kindle. His Short Story "A world Without" is available on Kindle as well. Ernie lives with his wife and 3 boys in Henderson, NV.

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