One of the things that I often have had difficulty with when editing a novel has been that I have forgotten to include small but critical words or, just as bad, I write a word twice. This often happened when I was in a hurry to write what was in my head and then later when I was editing that same passage, I missed that I had forgotten to write the word. Instead, I read the passage as though the word was actually there. Most of the time, I would totally miss the word even after numerous drafts. However, my editor caught them right away. (This is one reason that every writer should have an editor edit the book before publication).
For instance, I might write a sentence like this:
Melissa road bare on her horse through the woods.
What I meant to say:
Melissa rode bareback on her horse through the woods.
I hate leaving editing to my editor, so I have determined to find way fix this kind of error before my editor ever sees it.
Ways to find those Missing Words When Proofreading
- Read your book starting with the last paragraph and read each subsequent paragraph until you have read your book back to the front.
- Read each paragraph of your book out loud.
- Take frequent breaks. You miss more when your eyes are fatigued.
- Focus on what you’re doing. Don’t allow distractions to get in the way of proper editing.
- The more you edit, the better you become.
Eliminating Double Words
I know why it happens. You’re writing along and you get distracted. When you come back to writing, you start where you left off and you don’t know it, but you’ve doubled up on your words.
The easiest way to find double words is by using grammar checker software. You shouldn’t depend on a grammar checker for every grammar error any more than you should trust a spellchecker for fixing every spelling error, but for finding double words, using a grammar checker is very affective.
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