Deeper Review: Evaluate if Piece Achieves Its Goal
Evaluate if the goal is achieved. Write down, what questions should be answered. Determine if they have been addressed. If you're writing from something personal or a fiction piece, if you're writing about a sprawling, adventure epic, do you get to the end and do you feel like you've seen this world? If you're writing about personal discovery or growth, did this character find that? Did they not find it? Did you address it? One of my favorite examples of this is A Clockwork Orange. The ending was changed, and it completely rewrote the whole piece. It's a different piece of writing. With that new ending, the goal isn't achieved the way it would be with the original. So make sure what you're putting to paper achieves what you're hoping it would do. I know we've done a lot. We've made a ton of changes. We have to go back and check them, because we can't have any introduced errors. We're not done yet. Introduced errors happen because we've already made changes to something and we didn't go...
back and verify. If you've changed a line, go back, just reread the paragraph again. If you've moved sections of your story around, you've restructured a chapter, just read the chapter again. Make sure anything you've changed doesn't introduce anything that's wrong or anything that's incorrect, or introduced anything new. It's very easy to just wanna feel like you're done. You've proofread it, you've written it, you've proofread it, and now you have to do it just one more time and make sure everything we've done has been correct.
So as an editor with your clients, you'll use Track Changes in Microsoft Word. Do you recommend that writers use Track Changes when proofreading or editing their own work as well, for this review all changes part of the proofread?
I do, and I recommend they do it in a new document. Like always, keep your original pristine and safe. Make sure it's untouched, and then move all your content over. And I would use the same tools that an editor uses, because you can save those and you can go back and learn from them. Turn on Track Changes. I don't edit with them on. I leave them on and I've turned the view to just be the regular page. So then you can change it authentically like you're writing. Then go back, and you can review, you can see, I went through this document and I made this many changes. You can open the review panel and see, I've changed this many formatting errors, this many spelling errors, replaced this much text. And over time if you have a catalog and a collection of these Track Changes documents of all your own files you've proofread, you can see your own errors and your own progression, proofreading your work. The longer you do it, the better you'll get at it. With time, the cleaner each file will be. You can start and see your first one, maybe you have red all over. And as you go, it gets cleaner and cleaner and cleaner. Yes.
Heather, any final, not just words of wisdom, but resources out there that, again, you would recommend to people. Kind of a summary of resources.
Yes, there is actually bonus material with this course for a number of resources. I would say get an online subscription to the Chicago Manual of Style. It's $40 a year, it will talk about anything you need. It has that hyphenation table that we've included with this class available. It's got proofreading marks. If you send your work out to be proofread it's got all these fantastic little drawings that mean something that someone did on the page. It's gonna cover any question you have. It's got a forum for support. So if you ask a question, people will help you in the most supportive way. I know a couple of people who work there and they're fantastic. Perfect it all day long. I just recently started using it in my editing and it's revolutionary. Anything you have, in addition to being a regular checker in spell check or grammar checker, you are able to build in for you what you need. And it really just helps create your own success. I also really like Scrivener to help organize writing. It's fantastic. That one is actually in the blog post about writing resources. It helps put together words, paragraphs, chapters, outlines, all the pieces, and then juggle them to make the whole. Also, it stores your research, which is very helpful. There's so much background research to writing. And to have that in an accessible place saves so much time. So those are my favorites. There's obviously a lot of really good books that you can read. Steven Pinker, all of his books are exceptional. Bill Walsh, copy editor. Fantastic, fantastic books. I feel like anything either of those two gentlemen wrote are completely worth your time and you should check them out and you should read them.
Thank you so much Heather. Where can we keep track of and get in touch with you?
Yes, I'm on Twitter, H_E_Saunders. Just the write type is my website. I'm on Facebook at Heather E. See this orange face, you'll know it's me.
Before you share your writing with anyone, whether it be an editor, a business associate, a client or a reader, you need to make sure it’s tight, clean and error-free. That’s why it’s critical for all writers to learn how to proofread their own work.
Detecting the flaws and mistakes in your writing is difficult because you’ve grown so familiar with it. This class will teach you the tips and tricks you need to come at it with fresh eyes. Heather Saunders, an experienced writer, editor and proofreader, will provide hands-on advice on how to go about the proofing process as well as the common errors to look out for.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Approach the text in new ways by removing distractions, reading it aloud, changing the appearance of the document, and taking a break when needed.
- Read your work from the perspective of your intended audience.
- Fact-check your writing.
- Figure out if the piece accomplishes its purpose.
- Identify habitual errors, such as weak words, excessive use of adjectives and adverbs, and punctuation issues.