Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, it’s vital that you spend time properly editing your work. Regardless of its purpose, a blog for your website needs checking as thoroughly as a manuscript to be published.

Editing Your Copy

1. For a piece of text which will be published, there are two types of editing. The first is a copy edit, which is done prior to typesetting (for a physical book) or converted (for an eBook). The process involves checking for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes, and ensuring consistency (use of capitals, italics and so on).Editing

2. Once the typeset/conversion has been done, a proofread of the text is done to look for errors in line spacing, numbering and indentations. It also provides a final check for incorrect spellings and punctuation.

3. Your text must be consistent throughout for stylistic choices such as writing numbers (digits or writing out in full), the time, using single or double speech marks and using italics. If you use more than one style in a single piece of text, it looks sloppy and unprofessional. If you write a lot, it’s worth producing a style guide to refer to each time you start a new document, which outlines your own personal preferences.

Other Tips

4. Punctuation should be used correctly and consistently. If you’re not sure, refer to an online guide or reference book. Never rely on the review check built into your word-processing programme. In dialogue, the punctuation goes inside the speech marks, and the word which follows (usually a verb) starts with a lower-case letter. This applies if you’re quoting someone in an article or blog post.

5. Do one full read-through of your document and then leave it. Don’t start rearranging paragraphs, changing words and fiddling with what you have. If you’ve asked someone else to check it through for you, they won’t appreciate it if you start sending them updated versions. If it’s ready to be converted to an eBook, resist the urge to add bits in, as these may have unchecked errors and will delay the finished product.

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