Monday, May 5, 2014

Fast and Easy Edits

I'll be querying soon! YAY! Before I send out my manuscript, I'm going through it one more time to search for a couple of things. Here's the short list:

Overused words:

so, was, just, even, ever, then, really, had, and THAT.

Also, check out Rachel's post on crutch words to find the overused words unique to your ms!

Tighten by cutting unnecessary words:

Shrug my shoulders = I shrug

His heart beat in his chest = His heart beat

She yelled out = She yelled

They could see the river = They saw the river

Revise clunky Sentences:

Too many actions-

Moving toward the door, she smiled, waved, and walked down the stairs, eating a donut. = After opening the door, she smiled and waved. She finished eating the donut on the way down the stairs.

Redundant descriptions-

Clearly, they were too busy to hear the shouts of screaming children echoing from the walls within the building. = No one noticed the children's screams coming from inside the building.

Pronoun confusion-

She nailed her to the wall but she fought back and her hair pins fell into her hands. = Abby nailed Clair to the wall. Clair fought the restraint, loosening her hair pins. Abby caught the pins as they fell.

Attach detached body parts:

I threw my hands around her. = I hugged her.
Her eyes roamed his body. = She looked him up and down.
She rolled her head. = She stretched her neck side to side.
His feet swiped the carpet. = He walked slowly.
Their arms flew in the air. = They raised their arms in unison.

Basically, anything were the extremities are not attached to the body. ;)

Deepen POV:

She felt hands on her arm = Hands touched her arm

He could feel the heat of her breath on his face = Her breath heated his face

*Watch for filtering words- felt, heard, saw, thought, wondered, knew.


Im not a super, genius when it come to finding all the errors' but some are obvious." Its always good to has you're sentences at least end with a period?

*If you come across something you're not sure about check out Grammar girl. :)

What about you? Do you have quick checklist for editing?


  1. Fantastic list, Diane! This is a somewhat tedious step, but its sooooo important not to skip. ;) Can't wait until you start querying! Whoo Hooo!!

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! It feels like editing is never done! :) I'm excited to start querying also!

  2. Great post, Diane. I heart checklists! :) I'm very excited for the next step in your writing journey.

    1. I LOVE lists too! It helps organize my brain! Thank you! :)

  3. YES YES YES lists! My mind is always chasing a zillion tangents so anytime I can reference a list: Win! Great post Diane. And, filtering words are my nemesis. I know this, and yet I still write them. Thank goodness for crit partners. ;-)

    1. So glad it's helpful! I can't function without lists or crit partners!!!