Before you hit Send

  • Run a final spelling and grammar check.
  • Make sure your character names are spelled correctly.
  • Cut junk words. Here are 43 to delete.
  • Cut adverbs. Cut even more. Use stronger verbs.
  • Remove unnecessary dialogue tags. Purposeful actions or emotion beats are more powerful and can still show readers who is speaking.
  • Do a search for “was” in your writing. This is a hint that you’ve slipped into passive voice.
  • 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.
  • Take advantage of some helpful editing tools: ProWritingAidHemingway app, Grammarly, Voice Dream, Word Spellcheck, Merriam-Webster online, and Theasarus.com.

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