How to find overused words in your manuscript

Every writer has words she or he uses too often. I call them crutch words. Words like “well, smiled, laughed, however, tears, cried” etc., in addition to adverb usage.

These words aren’t easily spotted when you revise simply because you’re looking at other things like character and plot development.

So today I’m going to show you how to find those words whether you use MS Word or Scrivener. [Read more…]

How to Create the Smartest Indent for a Manuscript

With all the manuscripts I edit or proofread I’ve learned many writers don’t know how to create a proper indent to their paragraphs.

While I can’t unequivocally say that publishers prefer writers use the first line indent, I can say you’ll look like a savvy writer if you do.

The first line indent is formatting that removes the need for the TAB KEY at the beginning of every paragraph. It is the formatting the publisher will eventually use in preparing your manuscript for publication. If you self-publish, this indent is a formatting essential.

Here’s how to create the “first line indent.” [Read more…]

How to Use Twitter

Social media. A major part of any writer’s life these days. But there are so many options! If you haven’t entered that world yet, choose one for now and focus on getting proficient with it, then move on to another.

I’ve had a Twitter account for quite some time. My problem is that there a lot of things about Twitter I don’t yet know how to use. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Fear not, Twitter has solved that for us with their Twitter 101: Getting started with Twitter guide. You’ll find it here:

This Friday is Friday Share Fair. Email me ( your publishing successes or struggles and I’ll post them on Friday for our readers to celebrate with and pray for you. (Thank you Vonda Skelton for this marvelous idea.)

Be sure to visit here on Thursday when author Kathy Nickerson shares how she developed the marketing plan for her book Thirty Days to Glory, releasing this Friday.

Tell Your Software Who’s Boss

Even as long as I’ve been using computers there are still aspects of technology that tend to intimidate me. When I feel intimidated, I procrastinate. In other words, I avoid doing what needs done until it becomes critical. Not a good thing for me or for you.

You have to get bold with your software. Tell it who’s boss. It usually doesn’t bite back. Since I discovered the keyboard shortcut for undo, I am more inclined to experiment and click those radio buttons, etc. to find out what they do.

  • Experiment.
  • Use the software’s Help Menu to find answers.
  • Use Google to find answers Help doesn’t provide.

Are you interested in learning more about using MS Word? Things such as creating different headings for different pages? Placing page numbers, working with pictures and text boxes, etc.? Leave your comments below.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2013

15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Your Writing Faster

keyboard shortcuts

Expand your knowledge of keyboard shortcuts.

I want to accomplish as much as I can when I’m writing, so I utilize keyboard shortcuts. Many of these MS Word shortcuts translate over to other word processing programs such as Scrivener (the one I use).

Here is a list of MS Word keyboard shortcuts to help you save time as you write your stories.

  • Copy selected text = Ctrl key + C
  • Paste selected text = Ctrl+V
  • Cut selected text = Ctrl+X
  • Save document = Ctrl+S
  • Undo action = Ctrl+Z
  • Redo action = Ctrl+Y
  • Select all text within a document = Ctrl+A
  • Move to beginning of next paragraph = Ctrl+down arrow key
  • Move to beginning of previous paragraph = Ctrl+up arrow
  • Move cursor to beginning of next word = Ctrl+right arrow
  • Move cursor to beginning of previous word = Ctrl+left arrow
  • © using Word = Ctrl, Alt + c ( symbol appears immediately), Alt+0169, using Scrivener (symbol appears after you release the Alt key)
  • ® = Ctrl, Alt + r (Word, symbol appears immediately), Alt+0174 (Scrivener, symbol appears after you release the Alt key)
  • Select a portion of text from cursor to wherever you point your mouse = Shift key+left mouse click
  • Display Help = F1 key

Have some fun while in Word. Experiment with the Alt key and number combinations and see what you get. For more shortcuts for Windows, visit here

Do shortcuts help you save time or just confuse you? Leave your comments below.

Snag a Publisher!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Tips to Snag a Publisher with Your Manuscript Submission. Sign up below for your free download.

Get Published!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Things Every Writer Needs to Do When Submitting a Manuscript (make sure you avoid these common mistakes). Sign up below for your free download.
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