Make a Start at Editing your Novel or Short Story

 SmartEdit for Word is a first-pass editing tool for creative writers and novelists that sits inside Microsoft Word and helps you as you work. It’s not a replacement for a human editor. Neither is it designed to do your editing for you. It’s an aid—a helper for when you begin editing your work. A standalone version also exists for writers who do not use Word.

What Does SmartEdit Do?

SmartEdit runs a series of 20 individual checks on your work and highlights areas that might need to be looked at. These checks include: highlighting repeated phrases and words, producing a list of every adverb used, flagging possible misused or misspelled words such as “complement” instead of “compliment”.

SmartEdit also examines your sentence structures: highlighting common phrases you use to begin sentences, monitoring sentence length, as well as flagging possibly incorrect punctuation, such as multiple exclamation marks (“!!!?”), or inconsistent use of smart quotes and straight quotes.

What Does SmartEdit NOT Do?

It does not tell you to remove or replace a word. It does not make any automated changes for you. It does not tell you whether your work might be good, bad, or somewhere in between.

These decisions and interpretations are yours, and only yours to make. Software cannot make them for you, and should not even try. After all, how many repeated phrases are to be found in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech? Would that speech be remembered today if Dr. King had removed all but one of those “I have a dream” phrases in response to a software prompt?

SmartEdit’s results should be used as a starting point in your editing process. They should by no means be taken as Gospel. It’s your work, your creative endeavor; you know far more about it than an automated tool does.

Who Would Benefit Most From SmartEdit?

Are you a published author? Are you planning to become a published author? Have you finished or are you close to finishing a first draft of a novel or short story? If you answered yes to any of these questions, SmartEdit is for you.

SmartEdit was built for writers who are serious about their craft. It works best and helps most when it has content to work with. That means—at the very least—a finished first draft. If you’re not quite there yet, you should hold off on using SmartEdit until you’ve reached that final page.


Some other automatic editing tools;  This type of tool proofreads your writing, checking for grammar, spelling, and a host of other errors. While your text editor will probably have built in spelling and maybe a grammar check, a dedicated editing tool can find hidden errors that are easily missed on a standard text editor. Following is a site that lists 11 Editing Tools to help improve your writing issues; –

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2 thoughts on “Make a Start at Editing your Novel or Short Story”

  1. This is a great site for aspiring writers. The information is clear and concise enough to tackle a page in one setting.

    I especially liked the page “When Goals Seem Unreachable, Keep Motivated With These Strategies”. The three visuals highlighted the concepts and help me keep focused.

    As I get older I begin to wonder what the end will bring, but then I discover a new concept (for me) like lucid dreaming and off I go again. Thee thought of an end disappears in the excitement of the chase.

    1. Wow lucid dreams, what an amazing thing right?So you want to control your dreams basically.Accomplish things one can never do in waking reality, such as, taste fire without harm or fly to the sun.I seldom remember a dream though I am sure I go through REM.To be able to decide my dream content in advance would likely not do me much good.

      Best of luck on the chase but remember between here and there – enjoy the journey!


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