1. Change the font type
Select your whole manuscript. Then, if you're using Times New Roman, change it to Arial. Or Calibri. Something that looks totally different without making it difficult to read. I've caught errors and missing words this way, and it helps refresh my eyes.
(And don't forget to change it back to Times New Roman before sending it off!)
2. Read aloud
I can't recommend this enough. Reading aloud helps me notice missing words, things that sound odd, etc.
3. As you draft (or edit), make a list of problem or "echo" words
You know those words you use as a crutch (was/were/but, etc.)? I keep a running list of those pesky words (paper, spreadsheet, whichever works for you!). When my CPs point out more words (thank you, my amazing CPs!), I add them to my list.
4. The magic of "CTRL" + "F"
When I'm ready to cut out my echo words, I use "CTRL" + "F" to pull up the search box and find all 500+ instances of "was" or other problem words and try to cut them out or swap them as much as possible.
About Julie Abe
Julie writes magical MG and YA adventures. Julie's debut, EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH, is a middle grade fantasy releasing in 2020 (Little, Brown Young Readers), and the magic will continue in 2021! She is represented by Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic.
How I Got My Agent!
My Top Questions for The Call
Tips for (Before) The Call
How-to: Create an Author's Website
4on7: Author Mentor Match