Squashing the Bugs
by Tia Silverthorne Bach
UtopYA is less than a week away!
Thanks to the alien theme this year, I’ve had all kinds of creatures on the brain: everything from the kind ET to the gross bug-alien from Men in Black.
Bugs gross me out. I could be having a perfect picnic on a beautiful summer day, but it’s over if I see a bug. That’s the same way I feel if I see constant errors in an otherwise amazing novel.
Yes, I managed to go from bugs (and an alien theme) to editing mistakes. It’s a gift.
So, what’s a writer to do?
Read Out Loud
Not only will you catch mistakes (left out words, poorly written sentences, misused words), but it’s also an excellent tool for discovering and fixing awkward dialog.
Have you ever struggled with a long sentence that becomes a punctuation nightmare? It might be time to simplify. Either break the sentence into two shorter ones or write a tighter, less wordy, sentence.
Search & Find
Every writer has words they overuse. When you are done with your manuscript, do a search and find for your problems (e.g., just, that, all, and ly words). It’s also a great tool to make sure character names are spelled consistently. Then, as you edit, mark down overused words outside the initial search. Then, it’s time to hit the Thesaurus and make some changes. Which brings me to…
Don’t forget to use this valuable tool when editing. On the first read through, mark any issues which require an Internet search and then go back through and do them all at once. If you go to the Internet with each question, at least if you are like me, you’ll end up distracted. Use the Internet to check spellings, punctuation rules (Grammar Girl is a great source), and other references. Example: Is it Crock Pot or crock pot?
Hire a Professional
Yes, even after all of the suggestions above. You are too familiar with your own work to find everything. At the very least, please hire a proofreader. When I proofread, I will usually do a full edit of the first chapter or so many pages to show the author what it would look like. Whether you get a full edit or a proofread, you really need a trained pair of eyes on your hard work.
Now, go squash some bugs!
Can’t wait to see everyone at UtopYA.
*No bugs were harmed in the writing of this post. If squashing bothers you, feel free to imagine catching the bugs, putting them in a glass jar, and setting them free.*
~ Tia Silverthorne Bach
That was an awesome post. Guess what? It's gonna stay up as the top post until the end of the con. I'll be back next Monday with a goodies post about what I saw and learned at the con.
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Google+: Tia Bach
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As promised, here's the Rafflecopter entry form!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now for a very cool little add-on to my author interview series!
As I posted, tweeted, shared, and shouted about these authors from the rooftops, there were three people who helped me out at every turn. Because I'm a crazy author, I decided early on to award prizes for the person who shared the most. Well, turns out there were three people who really embraced the Indie author code and shared their butts off. Who are they and what did they win?
First prize (a $50 Amazon gift card): Casey L. Bond
I swear, every time I turned around, I was thanking her for retweeting, sharing on Facebook, or sharing on other media. She was really a force to be reckoned with. Thank you for all you do, Casey!
Second and Third prizes (a $25 Amazon gift card): Carlyle Labuschagne and N. L. Greene
These ladies did a ton of sharing. Not only of their own posts and interviews, but of other authors' as well. Thank you both so very much for spreading the Indie love!
I'll be handing out these fab prizes at UtopYA.
I can't wait to see you all!
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!