The Words all look the Same. How Strange…

manuscript-editing

When you write, you’ll reach a point where it’s impossible to read your story. You know everything bit by bit. All of the words. Everything that happens. You’ve slaved away on this manuscript for months, years, however long. After spending long nights in your basement punching out letter after letter on an Remington typewriter… Ok, maybe not a typewriter or basement but you get the point. After you’ve punched out the complete thing, you’ll want to proof read it. You turn the pages over and start to read but come to a earth shattering realizing. All the words look the same! Nothing makes any sense!

This has happened to me too many time to count. And I’ve dealt with it in many different ways. Some people will suggest getting an editor. An editor is a brilliant and probably the best option. They are a fresh pair of eyes. They understand how stories are suppose to work. They may not be good writers themselves, but damn, they can smell an error ten miles away.

But if you’re like me and couldn’t possibly pay someone $1000 to edit your story, then you do what I did. You come up with a creative solution.

When I hit a wall like this one and don’t have the capital to hire a gun, I do one of two things or both. (a) Get a friend or family person to read it. (b) Go over it myself.

I have very few friends who can read my stuff and give me the advice I need. In that case, I go with the latter option of myself. But then I remember the fact that I can barely read the manuscript and the errors are invisible to me. This is where the creative thinking comes in.

Print off your story. But in different font. Make it really weird font. I usually write in Garamond, so I’ll print it off in some strange font nobody’s heard of like KC Fink. DA FONT is a really good place to go for crazy font. I change the color and size of the text. I make it look at different as possible. The purpose of this is to make the manuscript look different so it’ll feel a bit new to you. It’s still your same book and you know this. It won’t read like some novel you randomly pick up at the library. But hopefully it’ll read a little fresher.

Another thing I do is cut up my manuscript into a thousand different pieces and spread them across my living room/bedroom floor. But this takes up a lot of time and if you don’t happen to have all the time in the world like I love to pretend I do, then you don’t have to go with this option. Just open WORD or Google DOCs and change the font of your book. Make it look crazy. Silly. Weird. Different.

Another option is to upload the entire thing to Fictionpress.

2 thoughts on “The Words all look the Same. How Strange…”

  1. My trick is to have so many manuscripts going at once that if my eyes start to glaze over, I have many others to choose from. I read that this is what Isaac Asimov did, and by golly, it works! 🙂

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  2. Something so simple that I wouldn’t have considered until I read your post. Thanks for the great tip! I usually put my work through a text-to-voice program as well. That boring robotic voice makes all the mistakes stand out rather well.

    Like

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