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reresita

Proofreading Editor?

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Hi,

 

I'm a terrible proofreader. I'll probably miss a few commas, double words or grammatical problems in this post. I've been looking into online proofreading programs, like Grammarly or whitesmoke. It would be ideal if we had some such program in Storyist to just check beyond spelling. If that can't be done, does anyone use any of the online programs?

 

I know it's best to have someone else proof it, and to go through it yourself - out loud, backwards, etc. But I'd like to get it as clean as I can before I give it to a human.

 

Thanks!

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Honestly? I wouldn't trust a computer program of any sort to do that. Just find a human with a good eye, a strong sense of grammar, and enough flexibility to figure out that your miner from the Adirondacks should not be saying something that makes him sound like Jeeves. It's a waste of time and money to do anything else.

 

If you have local writers' groups in your area, ask for recommendations. If you don't, test the person with 5-10 pages of text before you commit. Some people "see" proofreading errors, and others don't. If you're in the second group, just find one in the first and let it go.

 

There may come a day when computers can handle editing/proofreading, but I don't think it's going to be soon. And if the online program lulls you into a false sense of security, you're worse off than if you'd just turned it over to a human in the first place. Take a look at Word's grammar checker someday, and you'll see what I mean. (Trust me: "a kindle of kittens" does not take a plural verb.) :D

My editorial two cents,

Best,

Marguerite

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Thanks for the reply. I know that people are the best proofreaders, but I'm looking for something that I can use before I give it to someone. I don't want to bog someone down with misspellings and basic errors like double words. It's a pre-proofreading program really.

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Which platform are you on? The spell/grammar checker in Word as well as Apple's inbuilt spellchecker that is used by everything else tend to be reasonably good at finding misspellings, doubled words etc.

 

Other tips for proofreading include changing the font, looking at the mss one line at a time so you have to concentrate on individual words, or even reading the mss backwards. Once you've run it through a spellchecker, find someone to read it for you - and offer to return the favour.

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The proofreading process becomes further proficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to classify the specific areas of your own writing that need careful consideration, and knowing that you have a sound method for finding errors will help you to focus more on developing your ideas while you are drafting the paper.

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I would love a proofreader application/plugin with Storyist. While not infallible, it would certainly help and could save some cash in paying proofreaders. I am not a software developer and do not know how difficult this would be to create, but if some genius out there could do it they would find a fan of it in me.

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An artificial intelligence based proof reader is a huge programming project. Way more than I'd expect any story development software publisher to accomodate.

 

Storyist text can be copy/pasted into any of the popular online subscription proof readers. They are not nearly as good as a human but they are way better than anything in MS-WORD or that is likely to be able to be practically implemented in Storyist, Scrivener, MS-WORD, or WriteWay Pro, in our lifetime.

 

Fitch

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I'm with M on this one: find a writer's group, or spend the money to hire a human being. Especially if you write a genre that likes to make up terminology (science fiction, fantasy) or you use dialect (think Huckleberry Finn), or are writing something like historical fiction and using diction and grammar from another era. Online proofers are just going to compare your words to a database of common issues; if you have an uncommon manuscript, you're out of luck. Just like getting an artist to design a proper cover, hiring an editor is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

 

And seriously—don't worry about "pre-proofreading." That's like washing your hair before you go to the barber. ;) For basic spelling, that's when something like the spell checker in OS X or Microsoft Word is just fine. And for basic grammar, read your manuscript aloud, to yourself. You'd be surprised how many grammar errors come to light when you've just heard your sentence spoken out loud and it doesn't sound right.

 

Orren

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