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Welcome to official post #100

celebration1

Post #0001 was first published on 2/20/2012. Really? That long ago?

Averaging one post a week has been a good speed for me, considering all the other irons in the fire. I wanted to do something a little special for post #100, but then the real-life job (as opposed to the writing hobby) interrupted, because I’m currently doing the job of two people for the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, below is the rest of post #100, with an added attachment for free.

Enjoy!

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Since National Novel Writing Month ended ten days ago, I’m working on cleaning up the 50,000+ new words I wrote in a frenzy during he month of November. Editing has never been a strength of mine. It doesn’t help I’ve told myself for years I don’t like editing, because it’s tedious, boring and I’d rather be creating through the writing of more new words.

Other people love editing. They are molding pieces of word clay into a beautiful word sculptures and they thrive on such activity. The world needs people like this and if you are that kind of person, more power to you.

But when I started looking at a couple of books on self-editing, I found the task daunting, especially if I wanted to get the editing done in less than five years for a novel length project. Therefore, I turned to some online tools (i.e. Pro Writing Aid) where you paste your writing into the tool and it spits out stats on your writing. Also, it provides highlights and/or underlines for parts of your writing to consider fixing. This was great, but I’m a starving artist (writer) and wanted a free option (or an option I didn’t have to limit my copy & past to 1,000 words at a time).

One free option I found, is to use Microsoft Word macros. Google has App Script for Google docs and sheets, but I haven’t looked into that yet.

I know, I know, I have more than one post about leveraging the power of Evernote for all writing projects. But, when it comes to editing inside Evernote it isn’t the program of choice ( at least not through features I’ve discovered yet). I have a new need, which requires a specific tool.

I found instructions on how to turn on the VBA editor, then hit Alt+F11 to open the editor, and then paste in pre-made macros to do some “proofreading” for me. Attached you’ll find around ten(10) or so macros put into one larger macro.

Macros covered in this one macro:

  • Highlights superfluous nouns
  • Highlights superfluous verbs
  • Highlights superfluous articles and prepositions
  • Highlights the opening “it”, the opening “there”
  • Highlights overweight prepositions
  • Highlights weak modifies
  • Highlights words with “ly”
  • Highlights clutter words of “very” and “that”
  • Highlights gesture crutches (overly used gestures)
  • Highlights commonly confused words

I pasted this macro into the VB editor, saved it and hit Run. The result is a document with highlighted words that I can choose to edit or not.

Screen Shot 12-10-14 at 02.23 PM

 

When done editing, then I paste in a second macro to remove all highlights or I can CTRL+A to select everything and reset the highlight tool.

Here is the remove highlight macro:

Sub RemoveHighlight()
    Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight
End Sub

Also this site, Archive Publications, has over 400 free macros. I downloaded the file and spent a little time on it last night, but haven’t figured out how to use it yet.

Below is a Word doc file that contains the main macro. My hope is this will help you too get through the editing process quicker, so you too can get back to creating more new words.

Keep writing!

NOTE: Simply copy and paste the entire contents of the attached doc file into VBA editor, save and run it.

Attachment:  MSWordMacros – Better Writing

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