I’m a fan of making lists. They keep everything tidy and organized, and I recommend you use them for your writing. Applying one to each chapter (or half a chapter, or a third of a chapter) will improve the overall quality of your writing. Things you could include in the list and look for when editing are:
- Spelling. The program you write on will pick on some mistakes, but not all so make sure to proofread.
- Proper capitalization. Have you started each sentence with a capital letter? What about people’s names?
- Punctuation at the end of the sentence. Have you forgotten to put a period, exclamation mark or a question mark? Are you sure the one you’ve used is the right one?
- Punctuation within a sentence. Check if you’ve placed commas, semicolons and dashes where they should be.
- Singular and plural. Make sure you don’t write “a cats”, “lots of apple”, “we is”, etc. Have you been consistent with them?
- Long and/or confusing sentences. Break them down or paraphrase to make things clear.
- Rhythm. Same-length sentences get tedious. Use different lengths to improve your writing rhythm.
- Repetitions. Get rid of them, unless they are meant to put emphasis on something.
These are just some of the things that you could include and as you can see, they cover spelling and grammar. I’ll make another list about editing the story (plot and characters).
For more tips on editing, check these out:
- Tuesday Tiny Writing Tips #2 – Proofreading
- Tuesday Tiny Writing Tip #9 – Editing – Guest Tip by Johana Hefer
- A Spotlight on Editing – Guest Post by Angela Stevens
- My Top 10 Tips for Writing More – Guest Post by Samantha Jayne Grubey