The Essential Proofreading Toolkit for Creative Writers
by Gloria Kopp
When writing creatively, it is important that the words flow well. But it is equally important that the words are correct. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are important parts of any written piece. You might find that if yours aren’t up to scratch, many readers or potential agents will switch off to your writing.
Imagine your frustration. Your written piece could be the next big thing in fiction, and it’s not getting a look in because the technical side of your writing is letting you down.
So what do you do about it?
Check It with A Spell Check
The first step is to use spell check. This will iron out a lot of the mistakes due to typos or incorrect word usage such as their instead of they’re.
Manually Check It
You should still manually check your work. A spell checker doesn’t find everything. For example, imagine you wanted use the word “from” and you accidentally typed “form”. Both words are correct, so your spell checker wouldn’t flag it up. Try reading it aloud to really make sure you are checking everything.
Have A Friend or Family Member Check It
Because you are familiar with the material, it is easy to read it and still see what you want to see rather than what is there. Having a set of fresh eyes may catch things you missed. They also might catch things that you believed to be correct but actually aren’t.
Get A Professional Proofread
Once you have completed the above steps, if you really want to be certain your piece is at its best before submitting it anywhere, you need a professional proofread.
You can find freelance proof readers online. Below is a list of several sites that offer proofreading services:
- Afterthedeadline: This service offers free online proofreading. It offers context based spell checking, style checking and advanced grammar checks. In case you need to check the word count of you writing use this online tool.
- The Hemmingway App: This brilliant app highlights text in various colours to show, amongst other things, sentences that are too complex and should be shortened, bad wording and passive voice.
- Ginger Software: Ginger software’s website advertises a service that finds mistakes the others miss! It also offers one click multiple corrections to save you time.
- Sydney service: This website suggests online editing and proofreading consulting for both content and creative writers. Besides, the professional writers there specialize in different content types writing, so don’t hesitate to ask them for a piece of advice.
- Slick Write – Slick Write offers proofreading online, and also has a service that will create metaphors for you if you’re stuck on wording.
- Paper Rater – This site checks your grammar and makes suggestions on potentially better wording. It also offers a free plagiarism checker.
- Spellchecker: This spell checker site uses both English and American English (as well as 24 other languages). It’s a great tool if you want to convert a piece between UK and American English for submission to agents within those countries.
- Uk assignment: UK writing online writing company provides writers with writing help on each step of their writing process. Besides, the website regularly updates writing guides, tips and scholarships.
- Readability Score: This site scores your work based on its readability. Ideal for checking if your piece is too flowery. It encourages writers to hone their skills in writing clear, concise pieces.
Questions to Consider When Choosing a Proof Reader
Always remember to check the credentials of any proof reader you find online.
- Are they offering a good value for money service?
- Are they qualified?
- Do they offer any guarantees?
- Can they provide examples of their work?
When it comes to proofreading your work, you can’t be too careful. One check is not enough to ensure your work is perfect.
Follow these tips and use the resources available online to ensure you are producing quality writing every time.
Don’t be the one left out in the cold by agents or publishers because they can’t decipher your work!
Gloria Kopp is a web content writer and an elearning consultant from Manville city. She graduated from University of Wyoming and started a career of creative writer. At present time she works as a freelance writer and editor. Besides, she is working on online writing course project that is going to be launched this autumn.