You've finished your novel, and now comes the dreaded part... the editing.
Here are some of the things to look out for (not in any particular order)... I'll add links where I touched upon the subject, or found a better explanation elsewhere.
This list is far from complete. If you have something important to add, drop me a line!
- Grammar mistakes
- False friends (if you're a non-native speaker you know what I mean)
- Movement during dialogue (if the dialogue is more important, then remove everything that isn't necessary for that dialogue)
- Run-on sentences (overly long sentences with endless sections separated by commas)
- Show versus tell
- I-this I-that (in first-person stories, starting too many sentences and paragraphs with I)
- Purple prose (unless you like it)
- Remove unnecessary words (streamline your novel)
- Inconsistent descriptions (for example, one page blue eyes, next page green)
- Speech patterns (if your characters have specific speech patterns)
- Plot holes (closely related to logic)
- Logic mistakes
- Rule-breaks (if your universe follows certain rules, then did you break them?)
- Out-of-character actions (do characters act odd?)
- Characters pulling a Houdini (important in one part of the story, and then suddenly disappear, never to be mentioned again)
- Repetitions (like six time the same word in two paragraphs, things like that)
- Flow (difficult one, but does the text read smoothly, or does it falter? try to read it out aloud)
- Pace (are some parts overly slow or too fast?)
... and finally, the one million dollar question:
- What does the reader think and feel when he / she reads your work?
I use a TTS tool to assist me in finding and fixing problems.
In other words, I have the computer read out the text aloud to me, whilst I read it out myself. That way I force myself to go slowly through a re-read. It's very time consuming, but it immensely improved my writing that way. Which is still pretty bad, but hey, it would have been worse otherwise 🙂
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