April A to Z Challenge, Challenges, Editing Basics, Simple Grammatical Rule

Big. Go BIG.







It’s one of those simple Edit Tips that make you roll your eyes when you realize you hadn’t already thought of it yourself.




When you are reviewing your work over and over, editing yourself into perfection, your eyeballs will start to hate you. Your eyeballs will hate you, your brain will be mean to you, you’ll start seeing spots and missing errors. The next logical reaction will be to beat your keyboard until your arms are bloody stumps. (Remember this guy?!)



Walk away.

Do something else for a while. Something that doesn’t require deep concentration or eye strain. Certainly nothing on a computer screen, and preferably no reading at all. Go for a walk, breathe deeply, nap. (I’m always a fan of the nap.) When you’re sufficiently rejuvenated and ready to get back to editing, there’s one simple thing you can do:





Your brain will see a whole new picture and you can begin your editing anew, your eyeballs no longer lazily skimming over familiar patterns and missing errors. I also like to change the color of the text I am reading; usually going few tonal steps down from black to a medium grey is enough to trick my brain. If I change fonts, I make sure to swap between a generic and jagged Times New Roman to a soft and rounded Arial or Calibri.

But, again… simplest of all is to change the size of your text.




Bonus B, quote:

Boredom is bullshitIt’s just for lazy people with no imagination.

~ Adam Sackler, GIRLS, HBO®
[Actor: Adam Driver]


8 thoughts on “Big. Go BIG.”

  1. That gif is so right on the mark,… lol GREAT advice to change your font size. It helps trick your brain. I also find that reading aloud in a different accent helps when editing. I go for a British accent myself, and it helps spot problems with rhythm. 😉

    Nice to meet you through the A-to-Z!

  2. It’s amazing how leaving a piece of writing to do something else such as going for a walk or shouting at the chickens that are destroying the flower beds can make it easier to spot what needs to be done when you return to the writing.

    1. Absolutely. Authors need a break from their work, and we editors need to recognize we are not doing our clients good service by plowing through a manuscript without taking breaks.

      SHouting at chickens… that could be ridiculously fun and cathartic. Especially if they squawk back!

  3. I never thought about that before. I usually just leave it and come back and never change a thing about the type. And then miss really obvious typos that my editor gives me a hard time over. I’m going to have to try this next time!

Say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s