You need to edit your work even if you’re working with the world’s best editor. Especially if you’re working with the world’s best editor. Submit your best version — proofed and polished — and watch as the world’s best editor tears it apart.
Cry softly and tell yourself it’s for love of the craft.
Your editorial process can be simple and quick, but have one.
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Not all editing is the same editing. The three main types are substantive, copy, and proof. The type of editing you’re doing determines the kind of tool you want to use. For example, you don’t use a spell checker to do substantive editing.
You’re rearranging sentences, deleting pieces here and there, moving the order around, adding or removing details, and otherwise messing with the content itself.
It’s intense and can take a lot of time. Also called revising. (Every writer knows the dreaded email subject line: “Revision request.”)
You’re adjusting grammar, switching out a word or phrase, fixing repetition or word usage or spelling errors.
Also called line editing, the idea is to look at your piece line by line. You’re fixing and improving, but not changing the substance of the piece.
You’re doing one last read to find any typos, spelling errors, or missing punctuation. Proofreading often happens right before you hit publish (or send, if you’re submitting your piece somewhere).
Of course, some tools help in multiple ways. Use as you will. And at your own risk. I don’t have insurance for this kind of thing.
The point is that you use them to become a more thorough and efficient editor of your own work.
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Use the browser version or the desktop app. Hemingway lets you copy and paste your work in, then berates you for being terrible. Um, I mean, it highlights adverb use, passive voice, complex word choices, and hard-to-read sentences. You want to be aware of those issues, even if you don’t cut or change them.
Don’t fall prey to the unseen cliché. I wrote that little rhyme myself. Run your piece through this tool, because it’s easy to overlook clichés.
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It’s a good alternative to Grammarly; ironically, the interface is not as slick. But it’s thorough and helpful.
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Typely doesn’t mess with grammar. That’s cool; proofreading is not about grammar. Turn on the Markdown preview to check your formatting. Customize what Typely checks for from a wide range of options. Get a score, an estimated reading time, reading level, and a sentiment analysis. Not quite sure what that last one is, but I like it. Also it makes typewriter sounds. (You can turn them off if they get annoying.)
Link to the rest at Medium