Monday, October 15, 2018

Editing Your Novel - Part 2 A Great Editing Software

by Elva Cobb Martin

Editing a novel is a big undertaking. I highly recommend ProWritingAid, a world-class editing software, that really tackles this job with gusto. It's like having your favorite editor standing over your shoulder pointing out things you need to change, and giving you options. This program can work right in your Microsoft documents. At the end of this blog I will give you a discount link to this software, if you decide you're interested.

Today I want to start giving you a list of the 20-plus major items this software will help edit in your novel. I'll even give you examples from my own novel as I edited using the program.

First, the Writing Style Report: This highlights several areas of writing that should be revised to improve readability, including passive voice, overuse of adverbs, repeated sentence starts, hidden verbs, unneeded words, and much more. Isn't that a bunch of things that need checking? And this is just the Style Report.

Here's a sample with the editing marks of the Writing Style Report from the first draft of my work-in-progress (wip) Marisol, a Christian historical romance.

In his merchant office above the dock, Ethan checked off all the cargo goods on his accounting sheet that Tim had left for him. The sugar, tobacco, cacao and casks of rum from Jamaica had been delivered to the buyers and at a good price. He’d made a neat profit on this merchant trip. Not to mention the gold they had plundered from the captured Spanish galleon carrying Marisol and the other indentured servants. He still had quite a few pieces of eight and nuggets to add to his strongbox besides the coin he paid for Marisol’s indenture paper. As usual, when the Spaniards ran up the white flag and surrendered under his cannons, he ordered the crew to take the gold and let the ship go free. They had been surprised to find indentured servants aboard.

While Ethan worked with the figures in his accounting book, and stashed the gold in his secret place, one thought kept fluttering across his mind. What kind of woman would have the courage or the know-how to stop a snake with only her boot? What other secrets did this woman have under that mane of shining black hair?

(Now I see I need to change the passive voice in the two purple sentences.)

Here's another sample showing unneeded words:

Ethan needed to go before recollections of his happy years with Olivia at the little church brought the familiar pain and drought to his soul. He picked up the reins. “Sir, I need to be getting home before dark. I do wish you and your family my very best. And do drop by to see the new governess I found for our Joshua. I believe you’ll like her.

You can check out and get a free sample of your work edited. 

Here's a link for a discount, I think will still work, if you decide you would like to purchase the software:

Thanks for stopping by. I'll continue these editing tips next time. Please share this blog on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.


Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,on Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: