I had to revisit the process of editing recently. An opportunity arose to help a fellow writer and I took it. It was a weird feeling as I have been removed from that for so long. Once back, the whole thing came back to me. I am going to outline how I go about editing and the reasoning why.
My first step in editing is popping the work into my WordPress. Grammarly is a great tool and works so well with the WordPress blog tool. If you don’t have access to the back end of a website, I would recommend using OpenOffice. This is a free word processor and was what I used as my first line of defense against grammar and spelling errors. I would read the context of the highlight and decide whether it makes sense or not to make the change.
My next step and the biggest part is to put the words into Microsoft Word. This will result in more changes being highlighted. If you had made the previous ones, those should be correct. Sometimes, Word decides it would hand a section differently. It is all up to you how the flow is and whether the changes make sense or not.
The reason for running it through the editors first is so that you can correct those errors and make for a smoother read through. When I was creating this process, I found I was going back a lot. I could read over the same sentence four to five times and wonder if I needed a comma or to change a word out.
The next step is still in Word. It has a neat tool that allows the computer to read your work back to you. The headset comes on and I highlight section by section. Usually, I close my eyes as I do this, immersing myself in the story. This will help you catch a lot of things that word processors won’t catch. Duplicate words and conjunctions you may or may not want in are caught here. The flow of the story is big at this stage. No longer are you looking for errors, but for all the other little things.
That is not the end either. I will go ahead and read through this on my own as well. I do this silently unless something catches my attention. If a part sounds out of place in my head, I will test it aloud.
At each of these stages, I am making the changes and checking them over. Depending on the number of changes, another round through a word processor for edits may be required. This happens just once more and then a final reading. This is my own personal process. After going through these, I will then reach out to a professional editor for feedback.
That is basically it. I feel like I may be overdoing it, but I pride myself on my writing and the product I put out. If you have any tips, let me know. Thank you.