Catching Little Things

One of the largest tasks with writing is often editing, especially when it comes to finding the small mistakes like typos or missed commas. With longer works it’s a daunting task that seems almost impossible. By the time it gets down just finding and fixing those little grammatical errors or spotting the missing word, you might think you’ve caught them all, only to find later that you haven’t.

To help, try changing your font, or looking at it on a different screen such as a tablet, eReader or even your phone. The change in size and format can help overcome our brain’s tendency to auto-correct mistakes in our own work.

Another good way is to run your story through a text-to-speech program. If you don’t have one, Google translate will read off whatever text you put into it. Because you’re hearing it instead of reading it, you’ll be able to catch problems with sentence flow that are often caused by errors. Alternately, you can read it aloud yourself, which may also help you find places where your sentences aren’t clear.

Catching all of the small things doesn’t have to be a huge task however. For longer works, try breaking it down into smaller chunks–maybe you want to get a page done a day. Or even a chapter.  This way, you’re not facing an overwhelming amount of words to get through, and can still polish up that last bit.


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