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Editing and proof reading, what should you do ? (2 Viewers)

Djwadsa

Senior Member
Hello, I am not completely new to writing but this is the first time i have though about going for it and i have a good idea for a book and have done a few chapters, i am very bad at spelling and punctuating because of my dyspraxia. I was just wondering what is the best way to do it. any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance :)
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Hello, I am not completely new to writing but this is the first time i have though about going for it and i have a good idea for a book and have done a few chapters, i am very bad at spelling and punctuating because of my dyspraxia. I was just wondering what is the best way to do it. any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance :)

First, use a spelling and grammar checker (such as the built in features in Microsoft Word). That will get most of your spelling right, and help with some, but not all, homonym errors. When I proofread, I check each sentence individually for a list of potential technical issues: wordiness, clarity, overworked words, typos, missing or extra words, homonym errors, passive voice, using the wrong character name, complexity, basic grammar errors, extraneous adjectives and adverbs, etc. That will get you started. LOL

I understand from the condition you noted that there may be an upper limit to what you can do on your own. In that case, once you have finished the novel and done everything you can to clean up the writing, you may need to hire a line editor to catch and correct the rest. The cost for that varies by the skill of the editor and the length of the work, but it will cost several hundred dollars at a minimum.

If you are having trouble with grammar issues and sentence construction, get It was the Best of Sentences, It was the Worst of Sentences by June Cassagrande. Her friendly and humorous style keeps an otherwise dry subject both entertaining and educational.
 

Djwadsa

Senior Member
hey buddy, thank you for the response, it good know, i haved used spell checker yet am still worries that i have chose the wrong word eg there and their type of thing :) but i have put out chapter 1 of the fiction workshop and will see what people notice. thank you again
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
Read aloud. You will catch many more errors this way.
It is possible to read aloud in your head, tis faster, same effect.

Be wary of repetitive word use, tho this is a hard skill to pick up.

After a few edits, I like to order a proof copy from Amazon. Something about reading an old-school print book helps me see so many problems that I would have missed on a screen. Sometimes I specially format the print copy so it is easier to edit. Example: I take a 6x9 book and format it for a 6x7. That way there are these huge margins running down each side of the printed text so I have room to make notes. Then when I am done, I properly format the book for 6x9 and upload the new manuscript.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
Don't ever show the manuscript to anyone until it is perfect (as perfect as you can make it.)
Resist the urge to show people your rough draft.
It is very hard to read rough drafts, and even the best wife will only have so much good will. When you ask someone to read your stuff, make sure it is the best you can make it.
If I know that you are gonna ask me to read ten pages of shite every time I see you at the office...then I'm gonna avoid you. Y'know?
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Read aloud.
[...]

If you use word, go to the top of the word window and you'll see a weird thing that looks like a line with and upside down triangle below it. Click that, and pick 'Other Commands' from the menu. Scroll down and select 'Speak'. Once you've done that, a new symbol will appear that looks like a cartoon word-bubble.

To use 'Speak', select a group of paragraphs (about 600 words seems to be the limit) then select the cartoon bubble, and a voice will read your text through your computer's speakers. The default sounds like Stephen Hawking, and he mispronounced a few words, but it's mostly correct.

I read the chapter first, make corrections, then let Stephen read it to me afterward and I'll catch more errors that way.
 

druid12000

Senior Member
If you use word, go to the top of the word window and you'll see a weird thing that looks like a line with and upside down triangle below it. Click that, and pick 'Other Commands' from the menu. Scroll down and select 'Speak'. Once you've done that, a new symbol will appear that looks like a cartoon word-bubble.

To use 'Speak', select a group of paragraphs (about 600 words seems to be the limit) then select the cartoon bubble, and a voice will read your text through your computer's speakers. The default sounds like Stephen Hawking, and he mispronounced a few words, but it's mostly correct.

I read the chapter first, make corrections, then let Stephen read it to me afterward and I'll catch more errors that way.

Just tried this, but I use Word 2016 and that option isn't available :icon_frown:

Bummer, sounds cool.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Use Grammarly for punctuation until you know the rules for commas and so forth. There is a free version that catches a lot (google the Chrome web store). During winter, Grammarly costs 80 dollars (Christmas and Black Friday). That is affordable. If you have sentence construction issues consider dictation as an option. Word q speech q pro (now in version 5. It is also one of the most low cost programs you can get on the market) I heard about from a speech therapist (I have some issues with this I believe. It's a long story I won't mention here unless needed).That program will cost you around 80 dollars to use it (there is a free trial for 30 days). They let you rent it for a year for 80 or 90 Canadian dollars (company is quillsoft). To purchase the whole program costs 225 dollars (perpetual license). But it is worth it to buy or rent it if writing is your passion (if you have a new computer I would choose this one (perpetual since a computer can last for 4 years if not a mac). That's because if you have dyspraxia (including dyslexia and or dysgraphia) it may be your only choice. You can pay a stranger to read your story if you decide in a place such as a library that it would help you and if the person is cooperative and agrees to do it for a low amount of money. You would need a microphone (the one I use is a speech mike premium microphone from Philips. It can be bought used or new. If you need a link ask me here). Word q and speech q pro 5 has text to speech and uses Acapela voices. It has two unique voices and both are very high quality.
 
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indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Just tried this, but I use Word 2016 and that option isn't available :icon_frown:

Bummer, sounds cool.

I looked on YouTube and saw that there's a video about adding Speak to Word 2016 - It looks like I missed a step in my instructions... but you can find the video by searching YouTube for 'Enabling and Using Text to Speech in Word 2016 for PC'.

See if that works.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
If you use word, go to the top of the word window and you'll see a weird thing that looks like a line with and upside down triangle below it. Click that, and pick 'Other Commands' from the menu. Scroll down and select 'Speak'. Once you've done that, a new symbol will appear that looks like a cartoon word-bubble.

To use 'Speak', select a group of paragraphs (about 600 words seems to be the limit) then select the cartoon bubble, and a voice will read your text through your computer's speakers. The default sounds like Stephen Hawking, and he mispronounced a few words, but it's mostly correct.

I read the chapter first, make corrections, then let Stephen read it to me afterward and I'll catch more errors that way.



You aren't reading it aloud to practice.
You are trying to process the text aloud through your CPU.
If you have the computer read it for you, then it's not the same thing.
Shortcuts will get you shortcut quality.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
That's true for me at least. But then I have a processing disorder. I don't know how other people perceive reading out loud with a computer. What I proposed to the opening post's problem is what is needed to treat dyspraxia (intervention). Dictation means you already spoke the words as if read out loud and did most of the editing work. The cool thing is the software I recommended reads back whatever a person dictates. It may be tedious or some may consider this extra work. But depending on your goals it could be worth the time since you want a good manuscript clean off errors.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
You aren't reading it aloud to practice.
You are trying to process the text aloud through your CPU.
If you have the computer read it for you, then it's not the same thing.
Shortcuts will get you shortcut quality.
I do both. You’d be surprised how much I pick up by listening to Stephen read it back to me.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Like I said, shortcuts will get you shortcut quality.
The computer lacks inflection or cadence.
If you want it done right...do it yourself.

Proofreading requires neither inflection nor cadence. In fact, that would be a disadvantage. Proofreading should be as mechanical as possible. It's an analytic process, not a creative or entertainment process. The majority of proofreading mistakes (if the proofreader is competent in the first place--many are not) occur because the proofreader is either interested in, or bored with, the material. Both circumstances lead to "reading past" mistakes the proofreader is tasked with finding and correcting. And you find more mistakes missed in the middle of a longer paragraph than in short paragraphs or one line dialogue.

It's why I wrote my app to show me one random sentence at a time. I can't get interested, and I can't lose a typo in the middle of a paragraph. I can still get bored (LOL), but that becomes a function of attention span and taking rest breaks. It takes me 30-40 hours to proof a 85k-100K+ word novel, and that's after I've proofed while writing and proofed on my initial read-through. And even after completing the work with the app (and make no mistake, it's work), I do ANOTHER read-through. Then there are two other people who do read-throughs.

I'm a real bear on this, because I am SO SICK of self-pubs and small houses with a score of typos in every freakin' chapter. If a writer is going to charge for work, it needs to be professional quality.
 

Serendipity

Senior Member
I do my writing in Microsoft Word and use the spell check. Word also highlights when the grammar is off. There are programs online like Grammerly. If there are things that you consistently have trouble with, start a file where you write down the rules and examples. It will serve you well. Hope this helped.
 

Torus34

Senior Member
Having done both, I distinguish between proofreading and editing. Proofreading entails insuring that a written work is consistent with the grammatical rules required for the style and that it's free from typo's, wrong words and such.

Editing deals with content and style. It concerns itself with changing sentences, not correcting them.

And yes, there's some overlap.

Whether writing, proofreading, or editing, I've three trusty assistants on-line: a dictionary, a thesaurus and an end-rhyme supplier.

The best advice I can give for going over your own work: let at least a week elapse between writing and proofreading/editing.

Best wishes to you!
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
This was originally recommended to someone on the forum with the same issues as the opening poster and can apply to anyone:

I can recommend you a program I have on my computer that works better than word q and speech q. There is a catch. You need a synthesized voice. It's a screen reader. I own the artificial voice called eric from Ivona which is a company that makes human sounding voices for computers. This is a screenreader. I have been using it all of today. I previously rejected all of mightyaz's fixes or most of them for my 500 word story. Now I agree with them. This screen reader will allow you to read the websites. You need a good voice since the one that comes with windows is not good. I had this voice since last year. Today I discovered it helped me proofread my work. The synthesized voice cost 40-50 dollars. I don't remember the price. I bought it off harpo software's website. NVDA is compatible with the voice. I had to install a plugin that allows me to use a second voice for nvda. The nvda application uses window's voice. NVDA is a free screen reader. The above are reviews of products. Those are the good news. The commerical voices are not free. I recommend eric's voice which is sold by harpoon and ivona. You have to learn the commands of NVDA. For example it works in microsoft word. If you use a laptop you can press q and the up arrow key and it will move to the next paragraph in word. If not it will repeat the first paragraph. That command moves to the next pargraph where the cursor is placed everytime.

Yes the book with the workbook is good. But I am going to take some courses this month on coursera. It recommended nvda for people with disabilities. I know you have a quota or limit to spend. Maybe the only thing that would be missing is something to highlight the text as it is read.

You can speed up the voice. It costs 39 euros which is somewhat expensive. But save up for it. As in don't spend money and this is the next best thing.

readplease.en.downloadastro.com

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This link has a free program to highlight text as it is read.
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Download

Visit the post for more.
www.nvaccess.org
www.nvaccess.org
Screenreader.

Eric IVONA Voice - Harpo Sp. z o. o.

Eric - American English voice, man.
harposoftware.com
harposoftware.com
Eric's voice.

The high quality voice is needed. I set mine to a speed of less than 58. If not you won't be able to detect errors in the sentences (a human sounding voice will help you determine if there is a mistake instead of a robotic voice in microsoft word). For example, I noticed that when proofreading using the voice that comes with windows it makes my sentences sound awkward. They have high quality voices that have a good timbre, and that can be spoken at a greater speed, and other qualities such as pitch can be manipulated. So when I revisited the old work Mightyaz's suggestions made sense.

If you read short story magazines nvda will help you read these online. The high quality voice you pick is a no-brainer. The software is used for the blind people. It is a charity I think made possible because of Australia's government. It will make you read by speaking where you hover the mouse. In kindle it is more complex than that. You can hit the arrow keys up and down to speak the sentence that is located up or down. That is after you hit ctrl+t inside a kindle application and book with accessibility installed.

I was lucky a free trial was available for the book. I am thinking it will teach you the basic errors I made. Also, reading is difficult without nvda for me. I usually remember more information as it is read out loud to me.

Also, I realized this is much better than the paid program claroread se. It will save you a lot of money. Screenreaders cost 100's of dollars. An example would be supernova or dolphin. It will help you read whatever is on this forum.

It also allows you to edit your posts. You can see I proofread this. There are little to no mistakes. I simply use nvda to read it before I send the posted message.

I also like ryan's voice which might be better (slightly more or it could make a big difference in detecting mistakes). I think it costs 59 euros (the voice package which includes more than one voice for NVDA). However, it is quite good. I think word q speech q uses the same voice since its based on acapela's text to speech engine's voice.

languages & voices for Acapela TTS Voices for NVDA – V1.6 | Acapela TTS Voices for NVDA

It's also popular according to them (acapela).
 
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