Grousing and Editing. Not Grousing About Editing.

Like other Americans, I took yesterday off. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I don’t have a “real” job, so you’re wondering how to take that statement. Unfortunately, I had the day off because I was sick, not so that I could play volleyball on the beach.

My whole body was down and out, but the headache was the worst. I now have the utmost sympathy for migraine sufferers. It was miserable. I never sleep during the day. I just can’t fall asleep, no matter how tired I am. But yesterday I took three naps. Then I slept all night.

The part I liked, was that I had no appetite. No stomach ickiness, just no desire for food. Since I’m a food addict, that was a welcome change. Unfortunately, my appetite is back. I’m trying to not give in. I’m trying to eat just a little bit. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Anyway, very little work was done yesterday, and also? I did not get to see any fireworks. I was looking forward to fireworks and dancing in the park and barbeque. I did however, watch a little baseball on TV.

Today, I came across a post by Marty Halpern, wherein he mentions a software program called SmartEdit.  It’s by the same people who do Page Four, which is a nifty program in its own right. Marty is a smart person, so if he recommended it, I thought I’d give it a try. So I downloaded and installed it, which took about a minute, then ran Bridgebuilder through it.

It’s fast. In just a few minutes, it had scanned the entire 90K+ document and presented me with several lists. Things like clichés,  repeated words, repeated phrases, adverbs, dialog tags, and “monitored” words – things like it’s/its, there/their, etc. 

Do you know, I had no idea I used the word “actually” so much. I foresee major editing in my immediate future. But I’m not sure about everything the program shows. For instance, out of 90K words, is 210 uses of the word “when” too many? What about 181 uses of “eyes”?  

And if you know whether that question mark goes before or after the quotation mark, you get bonus points for letting me know.

I’m going to use this program for every new chapter I write, before I submit it to my critique group. They’ll be so happy!



8 thoughts on “Grousing and Editing. Not Grousing About Editing.”

  1. Thanks for the post, Marlene. I didn’t know about Page Four, let alone Smart Edit, so I’ll look those up. The copyeditor for my ms pointed out that I use a lot of adverbs, so I started making a list of them and doing a universal search. Yikes (!!!) is putting it mildly. I spent so many extra ours deleting filler words that I hadn’t even been aware I had to put (and which no early reader had pointed out), but I felt a helluva lot better that they weren’t filling my story with unnecessary and, sometimes, distracting words. And it made the times that I use those words more purposeful. The quotation marks as you have them are correct. I bought the Chicago Manual of Style and it sits right next to me, always. For the rules that for some reason will not adhere, I have flagged those pages for an easy find!

    1. Thanks Kat! You get the bonus points, though heaven knows what you’ll do with them. I usually write it that way, but it doesn’t look right no matter how I do it.

      I used Page Four for a while. I liked it, but for some reason, I’m just happier using Word to write my novels.

  2. Thank you for bringing my attention to this program! I will be definitely using it when I start editing my WIP. =D

  3. “out of 90K words, is 210 uses of the word “when” too many?”

    Unless the screening program has a check box for Subject Matter: Time Travel, I think you’re fine on this one!
    Glad you’re feeling better. Bill

  4. Well, that program just sounds…nifty.

    I just downloaded it. I’m using a bunch of tools when going about the edit of the MS I just finished: Margie Lawson’s Deep Self-Editing and Empowering Character Emotions lecture packets, Don Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, and now this. Hopefully this pass will prove more fruitful than my previous blind attempts. 🙂 Thanks for sharing info about that software!

  5. Thanks for this tip, Marlene. Just caught up with your blog. Wow, you are sure traveling a lot! Sounds like you are having fun.

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