Editing Hacks and Tips to Polish Your Writing Like a Pro
It is a fact that the first draft is never perfect when writing fiction or even non-fiction. Most writers that know editing remove the vast majority of their words during the editing process as they spot quite a bit of mistakes. However, most writers are not professional editors, which makes it difficult for them to know what they have done wrong. They will agree to the fact that working with an expert editor is helpful in polishing their work.
But if, for some reason, you cannot hire an editor, it is best to learn a few tricks yourself. It is often quite hard to proofread your own work effectively, especially if you are still learning about your craft. That is why, in this guide, we will go over editing hacks and tips to help you polish your writing like a pro.
Take Sufficient Break
It does not matter how experienced you are or where you stand on the scale of professional writers, you will always wonder how to make your work better. It may be hard to believe, but taking a break is the best thing to do. Once you have covered the necessary aspects of your essay/book, it is time to relax. Getting stuck on one thing will make it difficult to see things clearly. You won’t be able to spot the obvious mistakes. So clear your head by taking a walk or watching a movie before returning to your desk to spot mistakes and polish your work.
Print Out Your Paper
The constant strain of looking at a screen for an extended period is likely to cause distractions and also leave you feeling drained mentally. By printing out your work on physical paper, you will be able to spot obvious mistakes like any issues with formatting. Other issues like unnecessary long sentences and big words will also be visible. You might have also missed a few good words to use. This will be an ideal opportunity to correct these mistakes.
Utilise a Highlighter
Old-school writers have always used a highlighter to ensure effective self-editing. During the writing process, editing is a bad idea as that can make you lose focus, affecting the quality of work. So, it is better to find the issues immediately but deal with them later on. Also, use different colour highlighters for different issues. Use a particular colour for grammar mistakes, and use a separate one for formatting issues. Add this step to your writing routine for the best results.
Read Your Work Out Loud
Once you are done with the research and writing process and have taken a break, it is best to read your work out loud. By clearly hearing the sound of the sentences, you will be able to get better insight into how nicely your ideas go together. Such an increased level of focus will bring your attention to the areas that feel particularly repetitive or clunky. This way, you can spot long sentences, repeated words, and awkward language. So, once you get your writing work done, give your vocal cords some exercise and spot the mistakes.
Editing is tough, so most writers prefer working with an expert editor to ensure their work is as good as possible. But if you cannot do that, you always have the option of self-editing. Follow the hacks mentioned in this article to polish your work like a pro.