Manuscript Editing and Proofreading | Language Editing and Writing Tips | Shivangi Yadav

Writing is a reflection of our personality. We always get a few mistakes while writings. For making your writing good you need to edit it and for editing, there are two methods either you can edit your writing itself or you can take the help of a good editor.
Editing is the process of selecting and preparing writing to convey information. It involves the correction, consideration, and many other modifications performed to produce correct, accurate, and complete work. 

If you are going to self publish your write-ups then you are the publisher. You have to remember several points to make your write-ups good

  • Read your write-ups again and again
  • Take the help of several editing tools
  • Do proofreading of your write-ups.
 
COMPREHENSIVE EDITING
Comprehensive editing is usually for complete manuscripts that need heavy editing in addition to grammatical editing and proofreading.
In comprehensive editing sentences or paragraphs move around, delete the words or paragraphs which aren’t necessary or points which are repeated, combing words and rewriting where needed. Then read the manuscript smoothly from beginning to end.
Sometimes comprehensive editing is difficult to do itself then choose the editor for it. Always remember,
Never lay your book out in pages and then send it to an editor for comprehensive editing. It will cause your attractively designed book to significantly reflow.
Always send the book to your editor as a double-spaced manuscript and then design it after your copy is final.
 
SELF EDITING TIPS
There are dozens of some simple mistakes which every author constantly makes. If they should know and learn about those simple mistakes then they would become a better writer along with a better editor and maybe even save their money on professional edit.
If you are ready to self edit your book then consider these points for book editing:-
 
Leave your manuscript for sometime
 “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
                                        -henry David Thoreau
When you have finished typing or writing the last word pf your write up, set it aside for a few days or more. In on writing, Stephen King relates that he places his finished drafts in a draft in a drawer for at least 6 weeks before looking at them again.
Here we suggest you do this because you have to try to forget everything you have written so that when you do back to self-edit, you seem that someone else wrote it. You want fresh eyes to edit your book. It is the best way to leave your book aside for some days. 
 
Try to hear the voice of your manuscripts
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the readers who read.”
                                              -Dr. Seuss
Hearing the words of your write-ups makes mistakes glaringly obvious. You can take the help of some of your friends and close ones to read it to you or you can go to the friendship- saving route, which has the benefit of being free: use your computer’s built-in speech synthesis function.
 
If you are a Mac user:
  1. Then click the Apple logo at the top left of your screen, 
  2. Select system preferences, 
  3. Click Accessibility, 
  4. Then click speech. 
  5. Choose a system voice and speaking rate you can tolerate, then select, “speak selected text when the key is pressed.”
  6. If you want to change the keyboard combination, 
  7. Click “change key” and follow the directions. I prefer option +Esc.
 
Once you’ve enabled your preferred shortcut key, simply highlight any text (within any program) that you want to hear read aloud. Then hit your shortcut keys and follow your words on-screen as your computer reads them aloud.
 
For PC users:
Make use of the Narrator, part of the system’s Ease of Access Center.
  1. Press “Windows+U” and click “Start Narrator.” 
  2. Since the program is intended for blind users, it will automatically begin to read any text your mouse encounters. 
  3. To turn this off, hit “Control.” 
  4. To have the Narrator read a paragraph, place your cursor at its beginning and type “Caps Lock + I.” 
  5. To have Narrator read an entire page, press “Caps Lock + U.”
 
Search troubling words
 “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” 
                                                                           — Mark Twain
All writers have specific words and phrases that (which?) always cause them to (too?) second-guess whether (weather?) they’re (they are?) using them correctly. If you know what your (you’re?) troubling words are, use your word processor’s search function to locate every possible variant of that word or phrase.
To help you consider what your troubling words here some words are given:-
• a lot/a lot
• affect/effect
• can/ may
• further/farther
• good/well
• i.e./e.g.
• into/in to
• it’s/its
• lay/lie
• less/fewer
• that/who
• their/they’re/there
• then/than
• who/whom
• your/you’re
 

Remove or replace your crutch words

Outside of necessary articles and prepositions, you may be surprised at what words you tend to use over and over. Scrivener makes it simple to discover your crutch words and is available for Mac, iOS, and Windows users. 

In Scrivener’s:-

 

 

  • Top menu go to “Project > Text Statistics,”
  • Then click on the arrow next to “Word frequency.” 
  • If necessary, click the “Frequency” header twice to sort your words by frequency. 

 

 

 

You’ll then be presented with what could be a jarring list of the words you might be overusing. (To include your entire manuscript in the frequency count, be sure to have your entire manuscript selected in Scrivener’s Binder.)

For Microsoft Word users:

There is a free Word Usage and Frequency add-in, but other, less technical online solutions may also help.

No matter how you determine your crutch words, go back through your manuscript, and see where you can remove or replace them.

Remove all double spaces at the end of the sentences

If tapping two spaces following your sentences is an age-old habit ingrained into you since before the dawn of modern digital typography. 

Conduct a find-and-replace search after you’re done writing. In Word, type two spaces in “find” and one space in “replace” and hit enter.

Problematic punctuation

If you know you have trouble with certain punctuation marks, search for that mark and figure out whether you’re using it correctly. If you’re still unsure, let your editor fix it, but make a note to ask him why.

Format accordingly

While preferred styles may differ from one editor to the next, you can show your professionalism by formatting your manuscript to conform to industry standards.

Such formatting makes it easier for beta readers to consume, and editors prefer industry-standard formatting, which allows them more time to edit your actual words instead of tweaking your formatting. Here are some basic formatting tips:

  1. Send your manuscript as a Word document (.doc or .docx).
  2. Use double-spaced line spacing. If you’ve already written your book with different line spacing, select all of your text in Word, click Format > Paragraph, then select “Double” in the drop-down box under “Line spacing.”
  3. Use a single space following periods.
  4. Use black, 12-point, Times New Roman as the font.
  5. Don’t hit tab to indent paragraphs. In Word, select all of your text, then set indentation using Format > Paragraph. Under “Indentation” and by “Left,” type .5. Under “Special,” choose “The first line” from the drop-down menu. [Note: Nonfiction authors may opt for no indention, but if they do so they must use full paragraph breaks between every paragraph.]
  6. The first paragraph of any chapter, after a subheader, or following a bulleted or numbered list shouldn’t be indented.
  7. Use page breaks between chapters. In Word, place the cursor at the end of a chapter, then click “Insert > Break > Page Break” in Word’s menu.

 

Don’t over-edit
Set aside an hour or two to go through this list with your manuscript, but be careful about over-editing. You may start seeing unnecessary trees within your forest of words, but you don’t want to raze to the ground what you’ve toiled so hard to grow.

A middle path exists between exhausting yourself in a vain attempt for perfection and being too lazy to run spell-check. Do yourself and your book a favor and self-edit, but be careful not to go overboard.

If you’re creating a professional product, your self-edits shouldn’t be your last line of defense against grammatical errors. In other words, I don’t offer this post to write myself out of a job. Even in going through the self-editing steps above, you’ll still need an editor to ensure that your manuscript is as polished as possible.

Plus, going through the editing process with a professional editor will help you become a better self-editor the next time you write a book.

ENGLISH EDITING SERVICES AND TOOLS

There are several publishing companies from where we can hire an editor for our write-ups.

In English editing services, spelling errors, grammatical errors, and punctuation are done they also polish the English language and make your write-ups attractive. 
They rephrase sentences that sound unnatural. Use subject expertise to point out sentences that are confusing and make your style sound more professional. Some of the publishing companies hire some expert editors who are native English speakers and completed there masters qualification. They undergone substantial editing training and continually reviewed for quality.

Some free tools are presented in google like Grammarly 
and many more. By using those tools you can make your write-ups error-free.

PROOFREADING

Proofreading is the last major stage of the editing 
process. Proofreaders are the eagle-eyes inspectors who make sure no spelling or grammar errors make it to the final version of your work. They are extremely meticulous, as they should be their painstaking review of your manuscript ensures that your text is 100% polished before going to prints.

  1. Inconsistencies in spelling and style
  2. Inconsistencies in layout and typography
  3. Confusing or awkward page and word breaks
  4. Incorrect captioning on any illustrations and page numbers in the contents

Again, proofreading is the last stop on the manuscript express, so most issues will have been resolved by this stage. The point of proofreading is to scrutinize the text for anything that previous edits might have missed. Hopefully, they don’t find much, but better safe than sorry!

Article By: Shivangi Yadav

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