For most of us, the fun part of writing is just that – writing. Creating new characters and worlds is an experience that is both inspiring and satisfying, but the editing of those big ideas? Not so much.

There’s no question that proofreading and revision is an important component of the writing process, but sometimes it can feel tedious – even painful – to go back over what you’ve already written and begin to hack it up. If you’re hesitant to “kill your darlings” or just not that passionate about grammar and punctuation, you probably need a push in the proofing direction.

The next time you’re about to take out the red pen, remember these seven pieces of advice and you can take your proofreading to the next level.

  1. Make a silent vow to be ruthless – there’s no point in editing if you’re going to let things slip
  2. Create a checklist of issues to look out for
  3. Divide that checklist into proofing rounds (e.g., plot inconsistencies and grammar issues should each be given their own focussed time)
  4. Read the whole thing through completely once before you dive into the editing
  5. Look out for long paragraphs – they’re usually a sign that a thought has run on too long
  6. Try reading it out loud so you’re forced to actually say each word and see how they’ll sound in the mind of a reader
  7. If all else fails and you have the means to do so – why not just hire a pro?

Breaking down the editing process into smaller chunks makes the whole endeavour more manageable, ensuring you’ll get out of it exactly what you need.

About Paperblanks: At Paperblanks, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at


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