Editing Hacks: How To Read Your Work With Fresh Eyes

K.M. Allan

While being able to pick up typos and Google the answer to any grammatical question is a modern godsend for writers, the one technological advance I’d like to have is the ability to see my work with fresh eyes.

Short of a future app that makes it possible, or a clichéd amnesic related accident, I’ll never be able to unread something that I’ve read (what feels like) a million times. This greatly limits my ability to edit without mercy. But where there is a will, there is a way, and here are some hacks that at least try to fake fresh eyes.

Change The Font

Simple yet effective, changing the font for your manuscript mixes it up in your brain. Different colors can’t hurt either, just don’t spend all day switching between Helvetica and Comic Sans and forget to actually do some editing. A totally different font to the one…

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10 thoughts on “Editing Hacks: How To Read Your Work With Fresh Eyes

  1. I only ever edit on paper with red pen, highlighters and ‘post its’ – with the MS hole punched and in a leaver arch binder. I’ll do runs for context and flow, runs for mistakes, adding deleting and correcting. Then I transfer all the alterations to the screen ticking them off on the print copy to make sure I don’t miss any, then print off – different font and start again. This time reading the pages out of order (so the brain won’t be telling me ‘this will happen next, then this’). Then a conventional run through for flow. Again transfer corrections to the screen. Finally I’ll turn the spellcheck on – I cannot stand those red and green lines while I’m writing.

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