Hi aspiring writers writing coach
Stefanie Newell! And this is The Life Of A Writer channel. In this video I will
provide 5 tips to improve your manuscript while using Microsoft Word. In
previous videos I’ve shared how to format your manuscript using Microsoft
Word and if you haven’t seen those videos I’ll link to them in the
description. However in today’s video I’m gonna be sharing some features that will
help you to improve your manuscript. Now some of these features you may be
currently using but I want to provide some new ways that you can gain value
from them. So let’s get right into it with tip number one immersive reader.
Immersive reader is a full-screen reading experience designed to increase
the readability of content. I recommend using this feature to hear your
manuscript read aloud not only can you increase or decrease the speed at which
the computer reads your document, but you can also change the voice for male to
female depending on your preference. The first step I recommend is finding
the speed that works best for you. Personally I found the default speed to
be a little slow so I increased the speed for it to be read a little faster. The
immersive reader feature is helpful for writers because it can help you to
discover several things about your writing. For example, with punctuation,
if you’ve placed punctuation incorrectly throughout your manuscript you’ll be
able to hear it based on the pauses and then you can correct it accordingly. It
will also help you to hear your dialogue read aloud to determine if a paragraph
or sentence is too wordy and just overall helps with hearing the flow and
pacing of your manuscript. And for those of you who still need help with learning
the parts of speech you can turn on the parts of speech function which will
highlight (depending on what you select) the nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs
within your manuscript. It’s a great tool for refreshing your memory if it’s
something that you don’t remember from your early years of school. And lastly
another cool feature of immersive reader is that you can translate your document
to any language you choose and it will read it aloud. Tip number two is spell
and grammar check. Now I know everyone is familiar with spell and grammar check, but
as someone who does manuscript critiques, I’ve noticed
very few people actually use this feature. Here’s why it’s important to use
this feature. When you submit your manuscript to your editor for
proofreading or copy editing, pricing is usually based on your word count and how
much editing the editor needs to do to get you to a clean copy. While you don’t
have any control over your word count once your manuscript is completed you
can help to clean your document up a bit by using the spell and grammar check. So
I highly recommend that you always run spelling and grammar check and make
corrections as needed. And then because you never want to rely solely on
software, and you’ll need that human touch, your copy editor will review your
manuscript for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style and also ensure
proper word usage and fix awkward phrasing, suggesting alternatives when
needed. Tip number three is to use the reviewing or comment feature. So in most
cases, when you hear someone discussing the reviewing or comment feature it’s
concerning an editor who’s making changes or corrections to your document.
But you can also use the reviewing or comment feature yourself (depending on
your preference) if you have an idea for a word, sentence, paragraph, or even a
chapter and you’re not sure which version you want to go with and just
want to sit with it for a minute. For example, let’s just say you have two
words that you’re going between and you don’t know which one works best use the
reviewing or comment feature to include the alternative version and come back to
it at a later time. Tip number four is to use the ideas feature the ideas feature
reminds me of Grammarly in that it’s like an extension of the spelling and
grammar check and makes suggestions on clarity, conciseness, formality, and more.
This feature will help you to refine and improve your writing. For example if you
choose vocabulary, it provides suggestions on using more descriptive
adjectives. This is also helpful because so many of us as writers get stuck using
the same words and phrases over and over again. So having suggestions on different
ways to say the same thing will help you to improve as a writer. I also notice
that it provides suggestions that aren’t always picked up in the spell and
grammar check so you definitely want to use both features. Tip number five
is to use the link feature. Typically the link feature is used to link to a
website within your document and I want you to still use it in that way.
However for writers, instead of clogging up your document you can also use the
link feature to link to your research on the web. I’m aware that so many of you do
an extensive amount of research on the Internet and this will allow you to link
directly within your document and refer to those links as needed without the
need to keep a separate document and everything is contained within your
manuscript. Down in the comments let me know what you thought of these tips for
Microsoft Word. If you want to write a book that helps you to connect with
readers and sell more books make sure to visit my website at howtowriteabookthatsells.com