Monday, May 11, 2015

Author-to-Author with #MFRWauthor Thea Dawson: Proofing Your Book @AeroplaneMedia #amediting

Best Eyes Forward: How to Proof Your Own Work
I'm going to pass along some tips that I've picked up from my other life as a professional copy editor on proofing your own work.

Now, obviously you want to hire a proofreader whenever possible because it's very, very difficult to proof your own work. But you can save time and money if your manuscript is very clean to begin with, and you'll be more likely to pick up anything your proofreader misses if you try some—or, if you're feeling ambitious, all—of these tricks:

1. Try to leave some time in between readings, several days or a week if possible, so that you can approach the manuscript with fresh eyes.

2. Double space your manuscript and view it at 200+%. It may sound silly, but you're more likely to see mistakes if they're large.

3. Switch to a different font and font color every time you do a read through. Try switching between serif and sans serif fonts.

4. In the same vein, try reading your manuscript in different formats: laptop, Kindle, iPad, etc.

5. Read chapters out of order. Better yet, if you have the patience for it, begin at the end of each chapter and read backwards, one sentence at a time.

6. If you know you're prone to certain mistakes (such as lay v. laid or typing “hte” for “the”), do a search specifically for those words.

7. Use your writing software's grammar/spell check. It won't catch everything (and it will catch a lot of things that aren't mistakes), but it will usually catch at least a few errors.

8. Use text to speech software or the Kindle Fire's text-to-speech function to have your book read aloud to you. You'll often catch missing words or odd word order.

You’ll notice that a lot of these tips center around disruption. Your brain gets complacent reading the same thing over and over again; changing the manuscript helps you experience it as something fresh and new. Don't be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you.

I’d love to hear any other tips writers have on proofing their own work!
Thea Dawson
Thea Dawson has lived in Rome, Tokyo and London and spent much of her twenties traveling around some of the more exotic corners of the globe. She was finally talked into settling down when her boyfriend proposed to her in Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Now she’s stateside again and embarking on a new career as a writer. Inspired by the places she's been and the people she met on the way, she plans to tell tales of romance and adventure.
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A writer and world traveler, Monica has everything she wants … except a free-spirited man to join her for life on the road. But when she bumps into Jason, who broke her heart in college, she lets him think she’s engaged. It wouldn’t take much to fall for him again—and that’s one road she doesn’t want to go down.

Jason dreams of the day he can quit his terrible job. Then he runs into Monica, the girl he never got over. Thinking she’s marrying a wealthy financier, he pretends he’s an ambitious career man in order to impress her.

Old feelings resurface, but Monica has trust issues and Jason doesn’t like risks. To top it off, Monica is leaving for Bangkok in two weeks—and she won’t be back soon. Time is running out for them to come to terms with the past and embrace their wanderlust.

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