Self-editing: tips, tricks, and tools

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post because I'm too busy saving a toddler from jumping off the counter. Haha okay, in case you can't tell this post is being sponsored by a program called Grammarly. But, I actually do want to talk about self-editing, because I'm doing a lot of it lately while releasing the chapters if Owned by the Ocean right here on my blog.

I have a few steps that I take when going over a chapter.

  1. I start with a line edit. I go through line by line, not really paying attention to the content and scope of the chapter and just fixing grammar, punctuation and word choice.
  2. Once I'm done my line edit I read through the chapter and start looking at content. Does anything need re-writing or to be fleshed out more? Does that fit the character? Is this long-winded and boring? Etc...
  3. After that, I do one last quick read through the make sure I didn't miss anything.
  4. Normally, at this point I would be sending my writing off to an editor but, since I'm not made of money and I'm releasing Owned by the Ocean in a bit of an unorthodox way, I haven't hired an editor for it. Instead, I use a program to do one last proofread for me.

Grammarly is probably the most thorough program I've used. However, it does not and will not replace the eyes of a human editor or proofreader.

As a tool, I think it is best used as a final safeguard against mistakes that may have been missed, or to proofread things like blogposts. What I like is that when approached by Grammarly they did not try and pitch it as a replacement to editing or proofreading, but as an added tool to help get the most polished product you can.

There are a lot of features that I have yet to check out, but as a proofreader I think it is useful. Just remember, it does not replace the eyes of a human editor. I am a huge believer in editors and proofreaders and don't think any program is about to replace them.

And yes, I actually did proofread this blog post using Grammarly.