Change The Way You Read

I attended a workshop the other day (my first one) on how published authors edit their work.

The advice was, when editing, change the font of your text.

Your eyes get used to one kind of font so you stop noticing so many mistakes. When the font changes you pay more attention to the grammar, and each little mistake.

Editing my book, I’m reading through it once in the old font, and then through the chapter again in a different, much bigger font, and it’s really, really working.

Changing the way you read the story is pretty common advice, but it never hurts to throw it out there again for new writers (or people who just hadn’t heard it before).

My first editing pass (after being satisfied with the big picture things) I use a different word processor than the one I write in because it 1) changes the font and display layout and 2) has a different spelling and grammar check algorithm to give extra help spotting mistakes.

On my second edit I print out (with a third different font) the story and plug it into Google translate chapter by chapter. I then use the “listen” feature to have Google read my story to me while I follow along on paper taking notes. Changing from screen to paper, a new font, and hearing the words takes care of the vast majority of remaining spelling / grammar issues, and even helps give me an idea of the pacing.

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