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Editing Your Novel: My Favorite Resource

Writing isn't easy.

Let me rephrase that: Writing WELL isn't easy.

Think of the last novel you were completely immersed in. The one you couldn't put down, and reading it was as smooth as cutting butter.

That kind of writing takes more than just raw talent (though I am a believer in talent...).

So many things come into play:

*Varied sentence structures and lengths and rhythm

*Word choice

*Grammar and punctuation

*Strong, natural dialogue

The list goes on.

NOW...there is a 'rule' in writing fiction that you should save editing for later. Let the first draft come as it may. Get the bones of the story down first and deal with the mess later.


I have this impulse that won't let me move on from a chapter until I've cleaned it up, revised it, and made it shiny and pretty.

Honestly, I'm not alone in this. I've heard the same from others, and it turns out this is a real writing strategy that's gaining ground. (So much for being unique. ;) )



Here's the thing: Editing your own work is difficult. Some have a natural ability to catch things (I am one such person), but still, issues slip through. You read your own work the way you WANT it to be. Not always the way it is. So you'll skim right over a typo a hundred times. You'll read through an awkward sentence without batting an eye.

A couple years ago, I ran across an app called Capti.

It was a game changer.

Capti allows you to upload your manuscript to the app, choose a voice you find easiest to listen to, and it will then read the manuscript to you! I catch SO MANY ISSUES doing this.

* Those typos I kept reading over...

* Weird sentence structure...

* Weak word choices...

* Plot problems I somehow overlooked... (there's something about being read too..)

AND it helps me get a bird's eye view of the story. Something that can be difficult when you're rereading the same lines over and over. This method helps you pull back a little, widening the lens.

You can connect with Dropbox, OneDrive...wherever you're storing your files.

The voice options are obviously electronic, but there are many to choose from. My favorite is Salli (I paid a $1. There are lots of free voices, but the good ones cost a teeny bit. Worth it.) Her voice is smoother than most, and I find I can listen for a long time without disengaging.


While I'm cleaning or cooking or doing something else motherly, I'll put on my bluetooth headphones, connect to Capti, and listen while I work.

(On super special days, I'll even lounge on my bed and close my eyes.......... *sigh*)

My laptop will be open nearby, and when I hear something off (typos, etc.) I'll switch over and make the edit.

This is the essence of multitasking as a writer mom. LOL (I have a few words of advice for writer moms HERE.)

There's not much more I can say, except that Capti is by far my favorite resource as a writer/editor, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND adding it to your routine. It fits well with my obsession with editing as I go, and helps me keep my manuscript clean throughout the writing process.

{Sometimes I'll use it simply to get my head back in the story if I've taken a few too many days off writing.}

I hope this helps you!! Find what works best with your routine, what method or strategy moves you forward, and get those books done! We want to read them!

All the best on your writing journey and please contact me if you have any questions!

(And subscribe if you want to get these tips in your mailbox!)


Laura Fran

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