Before you hit Send

  • Run a final spelling and grammar check.
  • Make sure your character names are spelled correctly.
  • Cut adverbs. Cut even more. Instead, use stronger verbs.
  • Remove unnecessary dialogue tags. Purposeful actions or emotion beats are more powerful and still show readers who is speaking.
  • Do a search in your writing for was or any other verb form of to be (am, are, is, were, was, being, been, and be). This is a hint that you may have slipped into passive voice. Is a person doing an action or is an inanimate object acting upon something or itself? If you’re unsure how to identify passive voice, using the Hemmingway Editor to point out the uses can be helpful. That being said, passive voice isn’t always bad, but use it with intention.
  • Discover your pet words and phrases and nix them.
  • Are you using ellipses when a period would suffice?
  • Beware the comma splice. Here are 3 fixes.
  • Read your work aloud or use a program to listen to it.

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