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Grammer Editing

Guild of Wordsmiths

It's polishing time! Like a carpenter, we'll start by sanding and smoothing out the rough edges of our project. With each editing pass, we'll buff away more imperfections. Welcome to the Guild of Wordsmiths!

Editing Roadmap

It's hard to go on a quest without a map. So, here's your map to help start you on your editing journey, Wordsmiths. 

In May, you should be at 6 Distance while you prepare and gather your supplies (the recommended list is below).


When you actually set out on your journey in June, you'll be at 7 Line Edit.


So gather your courage, Wordsmiths! It's time to start on your line quest.

Editing Process_edited.jpg

Line Editing Basics

Focus: Line Edits a.k.a. Prose

When doing line editing, it's all about sentence-level issues. Turn ON your inner Grammarian and focus on your prose and dialogue.

Let It Rest a.k.a. Distance

The most important step you can take to prepare for any edit is to put your story in a box and forget it for as long as you can. Create distance between you and your book. Don't look at it until it's time to edit it. 

Recommended Supplies

  • Spiral-bound manuscript OR PDF on a tablet

  • Pens or highlighters

  • Editing software (ProWritingAid)

Line Editing Steps

  1. Prep: Distance. I really can't stress this enough. Give yourself as much time as possible between when you last looked at your book and when you start editing.

  2. Prep: Print or PDF. Decide which format you prefer (see video). The only thing I want to caution is to NOT complete your first pass on the computer. Do it on print or PDF (via tablet). Highlight your crutch words. Change your font.

  3. Prep: Know your weaknesses. In the week leading up to Reviser's Quest, make a list of your weaknesses. You're going to hunt these down like a lioness hunting a gazelle.

  4. First read-through. Using whichever markup system you favor, polish your manuscript, paying particular to your weaknesses and crutch words/phrases. Make those changes into your manuscript's file.

  5. ProWritingAid/editing software. After you've implemented the changes in your file, run your manuscript through editing software like ProWritingAid. Use reports to help you snuff out grammar, style, repetition, and over-usage errors. This is akin to a spot check, rather than a read-through. You'll hop from place to place in your novel.

  6. Computer-based read-through. On your computer, change your font again and read through your manuscript to catch any lingering errors that may have happened during or that got by your previous two editing passes. It's also helpful to use the read aloud feature on your word processor.

Line Editing Tips from Jennie Seitz

During our editing mini-con, Jennie shared some wonderful tips on what to look for during a line edit. It's well worth the watch!

Video Tutorials

Below, you'll find a series of videos to help you on your journey as Story Weavers (click here for YouTube playlist). Here is the order to watch them.

  1. Welcome

  2. How To

  3. Goal Setting

  4. Self-Editing 101 Part 2

  5. Leveraging Editing Software (Optional)

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