Monday, March 23, 2015

Writing Tip - Proofreading

I've been looking up writing tips and have found a wonderous load of them at Daily Writing Tips. I've picked some tidbits and wanted to share them, plus my take on them.

7 Proofreading Steps

By Mark Nichol

1. Use a Checklist
Create a list of important things to check for, such as problem areas like agreement of nouns and verbs and of pronouns and antecedents, and number style.
ME - I do this in my track changes at the beginning of every chapter or in a separate comment if I'm using Google Drive. It's always after I read through it the first time and see if I need to add something important, or question part of the content. That way I can look back and remember all of my thoughts on each single chapter when cutting down on my less needed material.
2. Fact-Check
Double-check facts, figures, and proper names. If information remains to be inserted at the last minute, highlight the omission prominently so that no one forgets to do so.
ME - I typically do this in the rough draft outline that I make up when the story first starts to form. I ask myself what items will I need to look up in order to tell the story properly.
3. Spell-Check
Before proofreading a printout, spell-check the electronic version to find misspellings, as well as errors you or a colleague make frequently, such as omitting a closing parenthesis or quotation mark.
ME - I'm one of those people that have the spell check on at all times when I'm writing. It just feels like less work if I do it while I'm purging the rough draft from my brain.
4. Read Aloud
Reading text during the proof stage improves your chances of noticing errors, especially missing (“a summary the report follows”) or repeated (“a summary of the the report follows”) words.
ME - This works for me if I have a scene that just doesn't seem to sound realistic. Sometimes it's a love scene or just an argument between the sexes that I want another person to give me feedback on as if they were listening in on it happening in front of them.
5. Focus on One Line at a Time
When proofing print documents, use another piece of paper or a ruler to cover the text following the line you are proofreading, shifting the paper down as you go along. This technique helps you keep your place and discourages you from reading too quickly and missing subtle errors.
ME - I always read in order and then leave myself notes on what to check further into the story, like "make sure you used this car color in the next three chapters". I lose myself if I go out of context with any story. It's just how my brain works.
6. Attend to Format
Proofreading isn’t just about reviewing the text. Make sure that the document design adheres to established specifications. Check page numbering, column alignment, relative fonts, sizes, and other features of standard elements such as headlines, subheadings, captions, and footnotes. Inspect each type of feature within categories, such as looking at every headline, then every caption, and so on.
ME - I do this and then do it several more times as each time I submit something that particular house wants it sent in a very specific way. I even name the file, after it's sent, under the name of the house so I can see what I've sent and to which house. 

7. Proof Again
Once revisions have been made, proofread the document again with the same thoroughness, rather than simply spot-checking the changes. An insertion or deletion may have thrown off the line count, for example.
ME - Give it some time between read throughs or you may not catch something crucial to the story. I also ask my critique partner and beta readers to go back into it to see what we all may have missed. Better safe than sorry in my eyes.
Thank you:

I hope these were helpful. 
)))Corset Hugs(((
Ginny Lynn
Wench Writer

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