How to Use Readability Statistics to Improve Your Manuscript

As writers, we all know how important it is to make our story as strong as possible. We also know that we each have our specific weaknesses in writing.

Maybe for you that weakness is grammar, or spelling, or passive voice.

Maybe you are too wordy.

Today, I’m going to show you how to use MS Word’s readability statistics to help clean up those kinds of errors.  [Read more…]

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

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