I use Grammarly for proofreading, because knowing the language of language is totally meta.
It is fairly common to suffer from mild insanity while polishing up your final drafts. It’s tedious. It takes forever. By the time you’re sitting there tapping the keys for the last time, your brain is a bit…well…exhausted. You’re ready to be D.O.N.E. (with all capitals). Because of this, it can be nearly impossible to catch every single typo, punctuation error, or grammatically confusing sentence. All of that being said, what can you do to polish your final draft successfully to within an inch of its life before sending it off to your editor? I’m so glad you asked! Here are my thoughts:
Polishing a Final Draft Before Professional Editing
1// Let the manuscript rest for a few days after you’ve finished your last draft. Take some time to go read a book for pleasure or take a hike. Cook. Clean. Spend time with family and friends. Do anything except polish your manuscript. When you’re ready to dive back in, you’ll have fresher eyes.
2// When you do sit down to crank out your final proofreading, polishing, and personal edits, grab a bowl of chocolate, pumpkin seeds, or popcorn (whatever floats your boat) and make sure it is within reach at all times. Polishing is monotonous and little pieces of edible flair are always appreciated. Trust me.
3// Take frequent breaks. Stand up and stretch. Do not try to do the entire manuscript in one sitting (likely impossible anyway).
4// Don’t be afraid to look up grammatical questions. The internet is a vast, vast place with plenty of accurate language knowledge (if you know where to look).
5// Once you’ve exhausted your own super powers, use something like Grammarly to proofread the draft for you. Grammarly is a very powerful tool and, though it isn’t perfect, it can be extremely helpful in catching mistakes you might have missed despite your personal diligence. And…because it makes me chuckle…a lot…here is a humorous Grammarly picture:
What are your own steps when it’s time for you to tackle your final draft? I’d love to hear your approach! Ever used Grammarly or something similar? What was your experience? Do comment and share!
As always, happy writing!