Read what you wrote, not what you think you wrote – proof reading your stuff

It happens to everyone. You proof your work. You read it and re-read it.

But unless you put a finger on every word (nearly impossible with touchscreens) you won’t find those missing/wrong words.

There are some tricks to self-proof reading.

#1 is probably most important.

1. Print out the book. The look and feel of a print-out is totally different than a computer screen.
(you might want to pay for the printing rather than use expensive ink. Some printers will do this overnight for 2.5 – 3.5 cents a page.)
2. Edit after letting the manuscript sit for at least two weeks.
3. Only edit 20 – 40 pages at a sitting.
4. Read each paragraph twice!
5. Go back and re-edit those same 20 -40 pages, looking more critically at the same words.
6. Know you’ve missed something – look for it.
7. Go slow. You want to find the mistakes, not get done. You want to read each word as it is written, not what you think is there.
8. Reading out loud is one of the best way to proof read. Can’t do it in the library.
9. Do not trust your spell check – ever.
10. Proof reading is not revising. These are two different processes. Proof after you revise.

Finally, when you are done and you know it’s perfect, if you are considering sending your manuscript to an editor or an agent, hire a professional editor.

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Writer – you can do better, read on

Yes, you’re a writer. You’ve sweated for years, worked on that story. Had friends and fellow writers critique it.

I have news for you, but before I reveal my message here is a little story.

I created a critique group in Pasadena CA. We were discussing quality of writing. One of the members mentioned a book that was a phenomenal best seller online, went “traditional,” sold more copies, became a series of books and the first of that series was made into a movie.

I never read the book. I did not want to read it, but during one of my meetings, I asked if anyone else had. Four women moaned and said it was poorly written.

And here is my point. That book, in its form, was a financial success.

Your book/story/article might be better than that.

Now here is my message.

You might have to step away. You might have to put it aside. You might have to swallow your ego. But you know it.
Sure you might luck out and sell a poorly written story. But you know what-

You can do better.

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writer’s conferences have people like you – writers

Going to a writer’s conference is fun, educational and full of information for the author looking toward traditional publishing as well as tips for the self-publisher.

Writing is a difficult existence. You are alone. Doubts abound. It is good feeling to be in the company of other individuals who are struggling with the same challenges.

Another advantage to attending conferences is meeting agents and editors who might help in your writing journey.

Some conferences last only a day and are less expensive Then there are longer, more intense and more costly conferences.

Do you need a finished book to go? No, but I think it is a good idea to be well into a book to make sure you really are going to go all the way into finishing your book.

Consider going to a conference. It is quite a wonderful experience to discover there are many other writers, like yourself.

Below is on link to conferences. More can be found through a google search.

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Editors are so necessary for an author

There are several types of editors, but no matter where you are in your writing career, you will need an editor.

No way can an author see or find all the typos, mis-matched words and plot points.

In an even bigger concept, someone (experienced) needs to read a book-in-progress. Is the theme being followed? Are there unnecessary scenes? Are there scenes that are hinted at, or alluded to that should be included?

Where are the weak spots? What are the book’s strengths?

The two main editors a writer working on a book are:
Copy editors who look for typos, checks spelling and looks for inconsistencies. A proofreader looks more for the first two items.

A developmental editor is much more involved in the story. This person works hand-in-hand with an author. Because cost and time are variables that dictate the depth that a development editor. The DE can suggest new scenes, cut others, ask for rewrites to get the book to adhere to standards of the genre.

Both editors are necessary. I would suggest that an author schedule and look into hiring both of these editors somewhere along the way in your writing journey. Many editors will offer to edit sample pages and you can determine whether you can work with this person.

Editors are as important as a word processor. Use them!

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great writing websites

As I gather some new ideas for posts, here is a great website that lists the top 100 writing websites.

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active versus passive writing

I seem to write in the passive tense a lot. Constant revisions help locating these weak sentences.

Here is an article that helps identify passive sentences.

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Coming back online

My apologies for the long absence. A lot of things have changed.
We’ll get back to the concepts of writing – planning, plotting, writing, revising, marketing and selling, shortly.


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Rick, Renee, and the Fat Man now available on Amazon Kindle

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Finally – its done Rick, Renee, and the Fat Man front page copy

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Overview of the writing, revision and publishing process

For those of you in the Southern California area I am giving a three hour presentation of how to plan, finish and then get your book published.
It will be a very intense, detailed talk about the process of getting novel or memoir completed and in print.
It will be held in the La Canada Flintridge Bookstore about eight miles northwest of Pasadena.
With today’s technology, there is no doubt that YOU CAN BE PUBLISHED!
This is where you learn how.
Space is extremely limited. For more information, you can go to my page at

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