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How I edit my own Novels

I use Obsidian to outline, and plot, for the whole novel. I also use it to name characters, and describe them. I describe localities, and major events.

1. I write individual chapters as separate word files. I read and reread a chapter every time I have a few spare minutes, when I don't have time or inclination to start a new chapter. So I do minor text adjustments as I go.

2. I use ProWriterAid as an addition to Word, and it highlights many problems as I write. It will pick up spelling mistakes, some grammar errors, some punctuation, and even some serious sentence construction issues. So I can correct either as I write, or when I check the chapter the next time I look at it.

3. When the first draft is complete, and I feel that I have finished telling the story, I start the serious editing. For each chapter:

4. I ask Word to review the spelling and grammar.

5. I check each and every problem that ProWriter has highlighted.

6. I have a bad habit of using the word 'that' very frequently. I ask Word to find every time 'that' occurs, so I can either delete it, or rewrite the sentence without it.

7. If I have changed the name of a character or locality, I ask Word to find every time I have used the old version, to be sure I have replaced it with the new version.

8. Then I ask Word to Read the Chapter Aloud [Home/Review/Read aloud]. This often picks up small errors where I have replaced the correct word with another real word (eg. As for at, from instead of for); or when a word is missing. I listen with a pen in hand, and note every time there is such an error. Then I can go back and correct each one.

9. Then I combine all the chapter files into one, so now I have a complete text. I repeat steps 4 to 8 for the entire manuscript.

10. I add the opening pages, and the end pages, and repeat steps 4 to 8 for them.

Now my manuscript is ready for publication.

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