January 29, 2020

Two of the Best Editing Hacks Ever

By Wendy Wilson Spooner  @Wendy_W_Spooner

We all know that reading our work aloud helps us find typos, sentences that don’t make sense, and repeated story information in our WIPs. But what would you do if you could get someone else to read your work aloud to you? Or some thing?

Here are two hacks I use that save me hours upon hours of precious editing time.

1. The Read Aloud feature of Word (Alt+Control+Space).  It’s surprising how fast I got used to the robotic voice of this feature, and the good news is that you can change the voice from male to female, and the reading speed as well. Listening with this feature immediately reveals mistakes, such as missing words, repeated words, sentence and content problems. For whatever reason, when we read our works aloud to ourselves, we still miss errors. But by listening to another voice read, it’s much easier to hear mistakes.

2. Google docs and the Speak Screen feature of iPhone. By loading 1 – 3 chapters into a single doc (the voice will stop reading if it’s more than that), I have my entire manuscript loaded on my phone, which I can then listen to through the Google docs app like an audio book (this does not work with Word). By dragging two fingers down from the top of your iPhone screen, you will see a tool bar pop up that enables the Speak Screen feature. You can then speed up or slow down the reading voice. 

This is a great step to take when you’re down to final drafts. I’ve also found that if I go for a walk while listening, I hear better than if I’m sitting in my writing space where I might be distracted by other things.

I hope these tips help you with your current WIP. They sure help me!


"Two of the Best Editing Hacks Ever" Wendy Wilson Spooner" (click to tweet)
Wendy Wilson Spooner is a professional Genetic Genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between. Her love of what we can learn from history compels her to write the true stories she unearths during her research, and she’s found that truth is indeed, exciting, and much more inspiring than fiction. Wendy writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming the obstacles in life by coming to know who we really are—a child of God, and, the descendant of incredible people who paved the way for us—even if they really struggled. She believes in learning from ancestors, honoring them, and standing on their shoulders to become someone even better.Wendy is an award-winning author of professional articles and poems, who turned to novel writing to share what she knows with a much larger audience.You can find her debut novel, Once Upon an Irish Summer, published traditionally by Ambassador International, on pre-order at Amazon now! Official release date is April 3, 2020. It’s a dual time-line, historical fiction novel, about a young, gifted artist, suffering from debilitating grief, who finds healing and inspiration in her Irish ancestry, and then goes on to paint a masterpiece. Her social media links are: and

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