As I began editing my story, I asked a bunch of writers – either that I personally know or through Facebook writers groups – what tools they use when editing their book.
I was shocked that most didn’t have a plan or a tool…they just wing it!
I’m sure most of us would like a plan of attack. And so I give you:
Tools to edit your book
Best part: Most of these are free!
Disclaimer: I have not used most of these. This is what either other authors have recommended to me or I have found through extensive googling. But they look great! Take what you can use and make your plan of attack. Less willy nilly…but don’t ditch the willy nilly….We all need that too 😉
1) Microsoft Word shortcuts – ❤ My favvie!
This writer was thoughtful enough to list out each step of her editing process and all the shortcuts or steps she takes in Word to find and fix these common errors. This is the most practical item I’ve found in my search. Use it!
2) 25 editing tips – checklist
Woohoo, I love checklists. I know where to start, what to do, and when I’m finished 🙂
These are called checklists, but more like a list of questions to ask as you edit. Includes questions on plot, character, dialogue, style, etc. Very thorough, so if you want to catch every nuance, this is the list for you. I think I’d read my manuscript 50 times to catch all these questions haha 🙂
5) Proofreading checklist – PDF
I list editing software below, but you want to check things yourself too. For readability, grammar, punctuation, spelling – here’s that checklist.
6) Natural Reader – text to speech
Does not require download, just copy and paste your words into the website to hear your story read to you – a great way to catch errors you might accidentally gloss over if you read it silently. It’s bold claim is that it reads it in a “natural” voice, hence Natural Reader.
Also available as a free download to read from PDFs, Word, and offline.
Paid version with more features also available.
7) Readable – readability grades
Free, with premium paid version also available. Copy and paste text in, then see various grade levels on the right. Also notes adverbs, passive voice, cliches, and lengthy sentences and words.
8) Hemingway app – readability and editing
Copy and paste into the website to see grade level for readability, adverbs, passive voice, and hard to read passages. Best part: all these are color-coded 🙂 Note: in my brief test-run, spelling errors got the squiggly like Word, but punctuation errors weren’t mentioned.
9) Text Analyzer – see which words you over-use
Do you constantly say everything is “glorious” in your novel? I mean, it’s a glorious word, but you don’t want to over-use it. Copy and paste your text into this website to see which words and phrases are most common in your story. Obviously “the” and “and” and major character names will be prominent, but what else do you say that may be too much?
10) Ginger – editing software & text to speech
Just download it to your device. It’ll check spelling, grammar, and more. As far as I can tell, it’s free.
11) Grammarly – editing software
This is more popular than Ginger, at least in my circle. Whether that means it’s better or not, I can’t say. This is also a free software download.
*The below cost money but were recommended to me by other writers. You might want to check them out 🙂 *
12) ProWriting Aid – editing software
Free version for up to 500 words at a time. Annual cost of $40-45 if you want to edit more than that at a time.
13) EDITS System – lecture
Costs $22. Lets you know what you need to edit where.
Have any recommendations of your own? Comment below with what tools, tips, or tricks help you tackle book editing 🙂