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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Write Something! : You have been lied to. Writers Block doesn’t exist.

First chapter of my new book Write Something!

Why you should read this book

One of my first memories with writing, was of seeing my mother sitting at our kitchen table leaning over her typewriter. She wrote screenplays, and when she wasn’t working her butt off to put food on the table, she directed plays at a local children’s theater. I always got bit parts in Pinocchio, and The Legend of Sleepy Hallow. Alas, my career as an accomplished actor was never to be, I was horrible at it. I had no desire to be an actor, I enjoyed the backstage, I liked reading the script, more than I liked acting out the script. At a certain point in my young life, I realized that I wanted to write the scripts. I wanted to come up with my own stories, I wanted to get lost in my own worlds.

I used to sit and stare at my mom as she wrote for hours, churning out page after page. She was unstoppable, she connected words into sentences like a machine. One day the table would be devoid of paper, and by the next day there’d be a stack that seemed to reach for the ceiling. In a week or so, she would be looking at a first draft. My Mom was a writer! I wanted to be like my mom, I wanted to write. I mean what little kid sits and watches somebody write? My mom, in her infinite wisdom picked up on that and gave me one of her notebooks to write my masterpiece.

I was filled with a sense of pride as I sat at table with my mom and wrote my first story. It was about Star Wars, and it would be more awesome than the original. I was writing fan fiction before fanatical fiction was even a thing, I was pretty progressive if I do say so myself… My notebook filled with my small vocabulary, (hey I was seven years old.) I would adapt my story into a play, complete with props made of grocery bags, and moving boxes. My niche was found, I had a clear grasp on what I wanted to do with my life. Those were great days, writing was my escape when I didn’t have any friends. Sometimes it was my therapist on days when I had no one to talk with. As I got older, a way to unload my mind of all the dramas that had happened throughout the day. Writing became my identity.

I think I still have the notebook somewhere. Considering I can never throw away anything I have written down on a piece of paper, (I might need that notebook someday, don’t judge!) Boxes of my writing that will never see the light of day sit mouldering in my garage. Reading books and writing were always second nature, much like it is with you. I never had to work hard with writing, the words I could pluck out of thin air. I didn’t know where they came from, they would just pop into my head, and I would write them. I never had to sit down in front of a computer screen or a piece of paper and think until my brain turned to mush. Until one day about three years ago, my writing turned on me. My friend for years had left me cold and alone, in a state of shock. My computer had turned into Medusa. If I stared long enough it would freeze me in mid sentence. For the first time in my life I was experiencing what those “other writers” called Writers Block.

I woke up just like any other day, ate my breakfast and sat down to write, and nothing came out. After a few minutes of just sitting in frustration I got up from the computer, dismissing my lack of writing on being preoccupied about something. After about three months of this I became scared. Writing would come in fits and starts and that flow that I had experienced all my life had escaped me. I asked myself many scary questions over those three months. Would I ever be able to write again? What would I do other than writing? Did I have a damn brain tumor? After writing numerous words a day, and a blog post on any given day, I was down to a trickle of words. The anxiety of never being able to write again had me in its grip. Whether I liked this situation or not, writers block was here to stay. Unless I did something proactive to cast this curse away.

For months I rambled around the Internet trying to find any articles on Writers Block. Why does this happen? What were the causes? I needed answers! All I found were sympathetic blog posts, stupid memes of people pulling their hair out, and goofy ideas on how to get rid of this dreaded block. I came to realize that no one who writes wanted to talk about writers block, almost like football players never want to go see another injured teammate in the hospital. The writers I encountered, just wanted to give it a label and be done with it. Giving no advice to the person experiencing the Writers Block. Giving not being able to write, a label does nothing for the person experiencing Writers Block. Getting them to realize that Writers Block isn’t one thing all to it’s own helps a writer! Writers Block as one thing does not exist, it’s many things that stop you from writing. Once you can see these specific anxieties for what they are, you can do something about them, and get back to your writing.

Over the next month, I narrowed these causes down to 6 major factors that make up Writers Block, and created a system to deal with them, so I could get my words back on the page. It was slow at first, but going deep into my mind and figuring out why I wasn’t writing did more for me than the vague blog post ever did. The system I used I will share with you in the coming pages. I call what I did a system, but it’s just a group of no nonsense exercises that are very easy to use when Writers Block rears its ugly head, rendering you paralyzed. These exercises will open your mind, and dissolve the block so to speak.

As a writer like you, I can sympathize on how frustrating it can be to see the words are accumulating in your head, but they won’t go from your brain to the page. It’s a desperate feeling, almost like walking around a dark room without a flashlight. I teach you how to fashion a flashlight out of thin air, and show you that the flashlight has always been waiting for you in that dark room you call your mind. My writing came back because of these exercises, and now I always have a flashlight when I am in the dark with my writing. I am back to writing when ever I want, and how much I want. Which is a good thing. Because if you’re like me writing is a big part of your life. The road back from a trickle to a rhythm and flow took a little while, but it was worth it.

So, I am just like you. I question myself, I sometimes lack faith in my writing. I toil night and day over something I have written. The best advice will always come from someone who has experienced what you have experienced, and come out on the other end with a new passion for their skill. I have experienced all the things in this book to the fullest degree, and I am still writing, still creating. You are no different, but sometimes in life we need someone to tell us it’s going to fine, you will get through this.

This book is for you. From students racking their brains at night trying to write a term papers, to the aspiring fiction and nonfiction author who wants to finish that book that nags at them every time they see that pile of notes sitting on their desk. Your writing yells out at you to finish, but you just can’t seem to get around to it. This book is for the writer that lies awake at night dreaming of that story they know will be great if they could just get it down on paper.

Everything is writing. Anything that has seen the light of day on this Earth had to be drummed up in someones mind and written down on a piece of paper. You need to get back into the game… The words you write are important to our collective culture. If you have ever struggled with writing please read this book. I wrote it for you.

Want to read more? Write Something is available For purchase on Amazon. Click here

In honor of Star Wars day, A World Without is free!

In honor of May the 4th, my book A World Without is free for one day. You can get it now on Kindle.

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“If the one person in your life you loved the most was there one second and gone the next what would you do? You would explore every possibility to get them back. Losing someone is a bone crushing, soul emptying experience, but now it doesn’t have to be! At NorWorld, we prolong life through A.I. We take away the suffering with Technology.” – Dr. Thad Feast

Anthony and his wife Susan love each other very much. So much they can’t let go.
This is a short story from the up coming NorWorld series By Ernie Howard.
Singularity is near. The Droids are Becoming…
“At Norworld, we prolong life through A.I. We take away the suffering with technology.”

Reviews for A World Without

May the 4th be with you! Happy Star Wars day!

Free Book! My book Walter is free on Amazon right now!

My book Walter is free on Amazon until the 28th of April. Read all about Walter, and his mysterious friend The Man.

alterWalter is an odd boy. To say he is not like the other kids is an understatement. Being odd doesn’t win you many friends, nor does it give you anonymity. Kids can be mean… Walter doesn’t care what the other kids do or say to him, because he knows a horrible secret. Walter knows when the world is going to end.
The apocalypse is coming The only people that can save the human race is a young boy, and a mysterious man from the stars.
Walter is Book one in Ernie Howard’s Apocalyptic Young Adult series.

It will be free until the 28th of April. Give it a read!

Walter is ready for Pre-Order on Amazon

My new book “Walter” can now be Pre-Ordered on Amazon. Order it now, and get it on November 28th!

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Walter: Book One [Kindle Edition] Ernie Howard (Author) Kindle Price: $0.99

 

Walter is an odd boy. To say he is not like the other kids is an understatement. Being odd doesn’t win you many friends, nor does it give you anonymity. Kids can be mean… Walter doesn’t care what the other kids do or say to him, because he knows a horrible secret. Walter knows when the world is going to end.
This is Book One of Walter