Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Finished Writing, Now What?
Okay, so you've put a cap on your writing project. So, what's next?
First, shove it aside for a while. Some folks say two weeks, but I've found that it varies from author to author. Main thing is, you need some time away so you can get perspective and not be attached to all your wordly darlings you've laid on the page.
But, don't stop writing during this period. Uh uh, nope. That's death for us writers. Keep at something--journal, magazine article, blog--but make sure you return to your manuscript for editing.
Ah, yes, editing. It can be fun or torture. If you (meaning me, actually) just need some mindless editing, there's always using the Find feature of your word processor to check for certain problems, like two spaces at the end of sentences, or use the Match Case feature to make certain that 'mom' is 'Mom'.
There are a couple of free online editing tools I've used, but like any other tool, their purpose is to help, not to dictate.
http://editminion.com/ is effective and easy to use. Copy and paste some of your text (I just put mine in a few paragraphs at a time--don't want to overwhelm the beastie.), click on the Edit button, and let it do its stuff. It will give you some statistics on number of adverbs, weak words, prepositions, and color-code them in your text for you to decide what, if anything, you want to do with them. It also lists words of Greek or Latin origin, and which words you got from Shakespeare.
There's another one called ProWritingAid, at https://prowritingaid.com/. There's a free version and a premium version. I'll get more into this one tomorrow.
Of the two, I prefer editMinion, mainly due to its simplicity, and it's great at hunting down passive verbs. Just remember that just because some of your words are flagged as weak, or adverbs, or prepositions, you're still the author. They're your words, and you get to decide if a word should be there or not. These are just tools.
I'll delve a little more into ProWritingAid tomorrow. Also, check out my other posts on editing:
Keep writing, friends.