Categories
Uncategorized

4 Ways to Edit Your Own Writing

Ready to edit your own writing? That’s great, but where do you begin? Well, fret not, because today we will discuss four ways you can edit your own writing. Editing your own work is necessary whether you are hiring an editor or not. When you send a piece of writing to an editor, they will expect a level of editing to be done already, to make it as readable as possible. They will also provide you with notes that you can work on, so understanding how to edit your work is important.

Change the Format

It can really help to change the format in which you view your work. For example, if you have written your novel on a laptop, print it off and hold the work physically. If you want to read it but don’t feel like you want to sit down and go through it, get a text-to-speech reader to help you (NaturalReader is a great option). Then, you can play your work back to yourself, enjoy a cup of tea, and make notes along the way.

Grammarly

Grammarly is so helpful for taking a step beyond the spellchecker and understanding more about your writing. It might be that you are using a word repeatedly or that you have used ‘that’ instead of ‘who’ when referring to a character – whatever it is, Grammarly is pretty good at picking up on it. It’s free to use the basic version too! Is it always right? No, but you can use your writer’s eye to decide what you want to pay attention to.

Read and Relax

A big part of getting ready to edit your own writing is reading the work. It can be challenging to take a step back and see your work from the reader’s point of view when you are, in fact, the writer. So, what is the remedy? Pretend to be somebody else.

Yep – that might sound strange, but it is the reason that you only spot a typo in a much-edited email after you have sent it out. It’s because the moment you send it out, you are putting yourself in the shoes of the reader. So, this is what you should aim to do when reading your work. Pretend to be your ideal reader, grab yourself a cup of tea, and sit back, relax, and read the novel you just picked up from the shelf.

Remove the Unnecessary 

We all have words that we overuse in text. For example, the term ‘that’ is usually not required. So, here are words to do a search and replace, or a search and remove, in your manuscript:

That
Really
Very
Just
Totally
Suddenly
(If something is suddenly happening, try and find a new way to say it. I usually find that when something ‘suddenly’ occurs in a novel, I am pulled out of the story. The word suddenly is your cue to slow down the event, and draw out the action a little more.)

There you are, four ways to edit your own writing! If you are looking for an editor, get in touch today. Whether it is a developmental edit, a critique, a copy edit, or a proofread, I can help.

Found this post useful? Share it with another writer!

Want to read something similar? Check out the following:

Online Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel
5 Ways to Find Your Next Beta Reader
5 Books on Writing That Will Improve Your Craft

Categories
Uncategorized Craft

3 Things I Did To Level Up My Writing Game

Are you looking to level up? Me too! I’m always looking for a new way to improve my writing, process, research, and more.

If you are ready to raise your game, read on for the three things that I did to take me from ‘barely writing’ to ‘novel completed’.

1) Writing Courses. 

I cannot overstate how much creative writing classes help with writing. You don’t just learn about the craft, and the bare bones of the work, but you understand how vital writing is. That, for me, is the most important lesson of all. Whether this is your hobby, your passion, your side hustle, your ambition – whichever label writing has in your life, investing in it makes it more important. It makes you work harder on it, and it moves the act of writing up your list of priorities.

Because I know how valuable creative writing classes are to me, I wanted to make sure that I offered something similar to other writers. That’s why I created my Novel Writing Masterclass: It’s Time to Write Your Novel. From years of teaching and lecturing in Creative Writing in the classroom and at university, I created this programme to be a one-stop shop for all who want to write a novel. It goes through finding the time, discovering the idea, writing, publishing, and more. I made the classes bite-size to fit into a busy schedule, and it’s packed with fun tasks and worksheets that can help you become the writer you want to be.

If you don’t feel ready to invest in a writing course, you can invest in other ways. I have created the It’s Time to Write Workbook for this very reason – for the price of a cup of coffee, you can invest in your writing process. This workbook launches on 17th September and will take you through the process of:

  1. Finding the time to write 
  2. Creating a writing routine that fits with YOUR schedule
  3. Identifying writing areas you would like more information on
  4. Learning how to set and achieve writing goals

If you are ready for a taste of coaching and want to see a way forward in your creative life, this is the workbook for you.

Here’s what Emma had to say:

‘Love the layout, very visual. It’s really useful, and I love how everything is broken down, so you’re not so overwhelmed with the task at hand.’

Here’s what Hannah had to say:

‘This workbook is a great place to start. Knowing what my Creative Data is and using that to structure my time has been eye-opening. There’s real value in providing a structure that makes the seemingly huge (and very intimidating) task of sitting down to write achievable.”

As a writing coach trained by an ICF accredited company with a PhD, MA and BA in Creative Writing, you can trust that this book has been created carefully, using tried and true coaching practices informed by writing knowledge.

2) Community.

Being a part of a community of writers has driven me to do better, write more, and keep going. From the classroom to Instagram, to the small group I run on Facebook (if you are interested in joining, search ‘It’s Time to Write Your Novel’ in groups and request!), a writing community and shared experience helps everyone level up.

3) Reading. 

To be a good writer, it helps to be a good reader. The more you read, the more you learn about grammar, plot, characterisation, what you enjoy, what you don’t like, and just plain everything to do with writing. It is the most valuable thing a writer can do to improve their writing. I find it really helps to set a number of books to read in one year, and work toward that. This year, I am trying to read forty. I’m on track so far!

What has helped you level up as a writer? 

Are you looking for similar reads? Check out the following.

The Reset Week – Investigate Your Writing Process
How to Harness Your Writing Motivation