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Week 27 Writing Update

More editing progress this week. The first stage is now 53% complete.

This week, as promised, I thought I’d tell you a bit about the tools and processes I use to do my writing work. (Just so you know, I’m not affiliated in any way to these products and I get no commission for promoting them)

My principal tool is a piece of software called ‘Ulysses’. It’s where I do all my writing, be it a note, a blog post or content for a book.
‘Ulysses’ also acts as a filing system for everything I’ve written, quotes and text snippets found online, ideas and thoughts. 
It’s my commonplace book.

I could write a long blog post about ‘Ulysses’, perhaps I will someday, but for now just know that one of its key features is the ability to break text down into individual ‘sheets’.
I can then manipulate these sheets any way I chose, and, eventually, compile them into sections and chapters.
Right now ‘A Foolish Escape’ exists as over 100 separate sheets, each containing anything between 100 and 2000 words.

I break the editing process down to two stages – First and Final. I’ll run through the last stage when I start it. For now, let’s focus on the first. Step one is to export each sheet into the next tool in my box – Professional Writing Aid (PWA).

Once again this is a tool I could write a lot about. It’s a sophisticated writing checker. It looks at spelling, grammar, punctuation, writing style and much more.

To be honest, I’ve yet to get to grips with all of its analysis and reporting capabilities.
For now, I’m using it to iron out obvious errors, swop out overused words and improve readability.

Once I paste a block of text into PWA, it takes a minute to do its thing then highlights everything it thinks needs attention. I then read through, making the changes and/or re-writing the sentence.
Once I’m happy, I copy everything back to Ulysses as a fresh sheet and give it a ‘PWA’ tag so I know it’s completed.

Tags are another useful feature of Ulysses. They make it easy to keep track of things.

Once I have a decent number of PWA edited sheets together, the next step is to export them to Apple Pages and send them over to my partner, Gail. She then reads them through, highlighting and commenting on anything she finds. Neither I nor PWA pick up on every error. Also, as it’s the first time she’s read any of it, she can tell me if the story ‘flows’ and reads nicely.

Once she’s finished, she sends the pages back to me. I read through her highlights, make the necessary changes to the Ulysses sheets, and add another tag.

As I said earlier, I’m just over 50% of the way through the 1st edit now, so I’m on schedule for my target completion of the end of this month.

Now, here’s something you may be able to help me with.

Before I publish the book, I want to send some completed manuscripts out to a few selected beta readers. I’ll give full details nearer the time but for now just know that you’ll need English as a first language, have access to Google docs online and be able to work to a timetable. 

As a reward you’ll be credited in the published version and get a personalised signed paperback copy sent out to you.

If you think this is something you’d like to do, please email me directly.

In other news there’s a new post up on The Experientialist.

Pleasingly I’m picking up new readers on this new platform, but I’m keen to grow the audience even more. So if you could click the share button and get a few more people aboard, that’d be great.

Thanks for being here. Have a wonderful week.

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