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I’m Kat! Professional Storyteller & Neurodivergent Creative

What makes 9/10 writers ✍️ cringe 😬

Published about 1 year ago • 3 min read

Editing. Every storyteller’s least favorite step in the process.

No joke. You ask 10 storytellers, Reader, what part of the process they dread the most, hands down at least 9 of them will answer editing.

But why is that?

Is it because it’s actually hard? Or because we’re told over and over again that it’s hard by peers and through the media we consume?

Or…

Is it because we’re taught how to write but never how to properly edit our work? We’re just expected to “know.” To somehow infer that knowledge because we can construct a sentence.

Maybe you don’t find editing as dreadful as those other 9 storytellers, Reader. But if you do, here are 3 tips to make self-editing more pleasant than scrubbing the inside of your fridge.

1) Be your own audiobook

Reading your story out loud to yourself scene by scene is the fastest way I’ve found to spot errors in my writing. Especially in dialogue.

Reading dialogue aloud helps ensure your characters sound natural. It helps you ensure you’ve placed emphasis on the right words. But most importantly, it guarantees that you’ve not made sentences longer than someone can reasonably say in a single breath.

It also lets you quickly assess the overall flow and voice of a piece of writing.

2) Install helpful companion tools

Installing helpful companion tools like Grammarly or Hemingway can greatly speed up your editing process. They’ll save you from having to look up formatting and grammar rules, prevent you from making dumb mistakes, and help you clarify your writing.

I have Grammarly Desktop installed to work in tandem with my Scrivener for Mac.

3) Keep a continuity log

I keep a Continuity Log to ensure important character or setting details don’t unintentionally change throughout my story.

For smaller projects, you can use a writing program like Scrivener that offers a side-by-side view to display your log on one side and your story scene on the other.

For larger projects, I recommend using a wiki service like World Anvil which I use for housing my projects like They Come at Night. My account allows me to have content available for public viewing and content that is only viewable by me.

By maintaining my Continuity Log as I write, and consulting it as I edit, the whole process is sped up. I don’t have to go hunting through pages of text for characters’ names or eye colors, or descriptions of locations because that info is all stored in one convenient place.

Pretty awesome, right?

So you see, Reader, wherever you fall on the spectrum of “I’d rather do [blank] than edit” if you utilize these 3 techniques they’re sure to take the dread out of your next bout of self-editing.

Your cohort in storytelling,

Kat Vancil

🐱

PS 👉 You can get a 30-day FREE trial of Scrivener here.

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I’m Kat! Professional Storyteller & Neurodivergent Creative

Here to help you vanquish those story construction obstacles, slay that imposter syndrome clawing at the back of your brain & stomp boredom flat with heart-pounding Boys Love fiction. Join the Saga and choose your inbox obsession, whether it’s helpful advice to get your writing unstuck or an episode of my weekly Boys Love Fantasy series to devour during your coffee break.

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