How do you organise your own editing of your creative writing? You’ll find an account of my latest WIP journey here to show how I go about it.
The MS stood at 79,079 words at the end of the edit referred to in that post. I then began the penultimate edit, using ProWritingAid, to check for those grammatical errors, repetitions, and stylistic tics that can easily escape an on-screen edit by the author. Writers are generally too close to the creation to spot all errors and inconsistencies.
Checking with editing software has its advantages but must be done with caution. Even setting the writing style to ‘Creative’, you’ll invariably find the software sees some of your stylistic elements as errors. In particular, it doesn’t like contractions, which I hope most authors use in dialogue, if not in the body of the text (I often use contractions there, as well, as they make the read more fluid). Dialogue without contractions comes across as stilted and awkward.
The software also picks up passive verbs. That’s fine most of the time, but there are times in a story when you want to have an action occur passively from the character’s point of view: when something happens to the player rather than when he/she initiates the action, for instance.
If you allow the software to dictate to you, and follow all its suggestions, you’ll end up with banal, impersonal text. So, although useful, and perhaps even vital for some modern writers, it does require authors to understand the rules of grammar well enough for them to know which can be bent or broken.