Easy Ways To Polish Your Novel

By on September 3, 2017
Easy Ways To Polish Your Novel - Writer's Life.org

When it comes to editing we must face facts. Time, effort and attention to detail are all crucial if you really want to get your novel in the best shape possible, and ensure that it is ready to go to print or to be sent off to agents and publishers.

However, sometimes we are not in the mood to spend our time pouring laboriously over our books and need some short and sweet quick fixes that deliver a big impact but don’t require too much brain power!

So, with that in mind, here are some simple, easy solutions to help authors quickly polish their novels when they want to make some progress.

Find and replace

If you know or suspect you over use a word do a simple search on your computer to find all up all instances of it, then you can replace it with an alternative or delete it altogether to ensure you don’t sound repetitive!

Using an app

Use an app such as Grammarly to help you discover spelling and grammar errors. You can simply paste in chapters and it will help highlight them as well as tell you what you should do instead - a quick and hassle-free way of polishing your book.

Looking for unusual synonyms

Pay attention to the descriptive words you’ve used in your novel. If you come across something a little bland or cliched think about how you can change it to make it more unique and compelling. Using a thesaurus can help you create new, unusual ways of describing things which will surprise and delight your reader.

Reading for inspiration

If you aren’t in the mood for editing you can always do some reading and research to find inspiration for your book instead. Reading is always pleasurable and doing so is a great way to discover a new direction or exciting and unusual ideas for your own novel.

Highlighting things to come back to

Inconsistencies, clutter, parts that just don’t ‘sit right’… when you read through your novel you are bound to come across examples of all of these. However, instead of trying to fix them right away, simply highlight them, make a few notes and come back to them later. This way you can get through a lot more of your book in one session and feel you have made good progress.

Do some cutting

There is nothing more satisfying than being brave and bold with your book and just cutting out sentences, paragraphs, even whole chapters that you know, deep down, simply don’t work. It can be hard to part with those carefully crafted words, but if you do you’ll realise how much better your book reads without them.

Polishing your novel can be extremely rewarding and these quick fixes are great for when you want to make good headway in your editing without having to use too much brain power! Why not give them a try?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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