I’ve just finished the line edit of my final draft of Message Bearer and I thought I’d share an approach I found on this particular draft that I found immensely useful.
One of my biggest challenges is that I seem to have some kind of writer’s blindness when spotting the minor errors that dot a manuscript (double words “the the”, missing words “he opened [the] door” and so forth). These are the kind of errors that don’t get picked up by the spelling/grammar checker and are somehow invisible to my own eyes when looking at the Word document.
So, for this final pass through I wanted to read the book as a reader would, not in Word but on my kindle (well android tablet but you get the idea). Reading the book in this way makes these little errors stand out much more prominently than from the Word doc so I thought I’d give it a go. My plan was to keep a pad alongside and make notes as I went through, ready for the final touch ups.
What I ended up doing though was instead using the Kindle app’s note taking ability. This allows you to highlight text in the document, save a note/comment and move on. I did this for the entire read through and after that was complete I simply whizzed through the Word doc with my tablet next to me, fixing the highlighted text and then deleting the note. It worked a dream!
Hopefully someone else may find this approach useful. For me it allowed me to experience the book as a reader would, not as a Word file. It made it much easier to capture all the minor typos, word errors etc. I know I could’ve done this by printing out the whole thing and making notes on the manuscript but my handwriting is so terrible I’d probably forget what the comment is actually about!