Perfect Your Prose: A Guide to Proofreading Your Creative Writing
Proofreading is tedious work. No matter how captivating your prose may be, reading your own work a million times over in search of structural and grammatical errors is not the idea of a good time for most people. While tedious and tiresome, reading and editing one’s work is highly important for successful writing—and as it turns out, some tricks exist to make your life easy when it comes to editing your work.
What steps can you take to ensure your creative writing is flawless and professional?
When you catch errors and avoid common pitfalls, the overall quality of your writing will improve immediately. The proofreading phase of the writing process can be dangerous for writers who care a lot about their writing. Caring too much can lead to problems like second-guessing your abilities and obsessing over multiple drafts. The first step to ensure your creative writing is flawless and professional is to become aware of when you need help with the editing process.
Be mindful of when you cross over from healthy proofreading to obsessive editing. Another easy first step is to seek out certain types of errors separately. You should focus on spelling, grammar, and structure in three phases. The old trick of reading your work aloud is a solid standby. So is placing a ruler or sheet of paper to isolate one line of writing on your computer screen at a time.
A Guide to Proofreading Your Creative Writing
If you are still experiencing editing and proofreading issues, I recommend printing out your work—or reading it from a different device than the one you composed it on. Reading a physical copy or seeing a different layout on a smaller or larger screen might allow you to catch mistakes you may have missed otherwise. Homonyms and contractions are also essential words to look out for that might have been glossed over by spellcheck. Homonyms are words with the same pronunciation or spelling; however, the meanings are different. Some examples of homonyms are: Write and right, manner and manor—and cereal and serial. Your brain may not recognize the error if it registers a correct spelling.
Contractions are other words that may be passed over because they are spelled the right way. “Your” and ‘you’re,” or “it’s” and “it’s” are other examples of simple words that shouldn’t always be trusted in the proofreading process. Apostrophes can cause problems as well if not also paid very close attention to. Lastly, it is essential to know yourself. You know what errors you gravitate towards making—be it grammatical errors or mixing up those two same words repeatedly—you probably know where most of your errors will be found. Be aware of your usual mistakes.
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Are you eager to put these tips into use with your own proofreading and editing? Unfortunately, if you’re pressed for time—or cannot bring yourself to edit one more essay, proposal, or blog post, creativewritingink.co.uk offers a superb proofreading service for writers. This service is offered through Creative Writing Ink’s sister company, Editing Bee. Additionally, this helpful service also offers a critique option. Whether you’re a student or a business professional, Editing Bee can critique and proofread:
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