Editing with Autocrit, Pass the Preparation E Please

It’s editing time once again. I have recently finished the third book in the Keya Quests installment, and have begun the painful task of editing. To give you an idea of how much I enjoy editing, let me say I keep a poker heating in the fireplace always ready to burn my eyes out and end my misery. My usual editing process which is an evolving process consists of the following:

1) Basic first round of editing to tighten the story, remove the obvious redundancies and basic clean up.

2) I pass the book through autocrit one chapter at a time.

3) send the manuscript to beta readers.

4) clean up.

5) proofing

6) final read through, last-minute tightening.

Most of the steps, while tedious, are tolerable. It is step 2 that causes me to reach for the hot poker, my friend autocrit. For those not familiar with the product. It is an online  manuscript editing tool subscription service. It analyzes your manuscript, pointing out redundancies, over used words, homonyms, clichés, and repeated phrases to name a few. As much as I hate using the tool, I have to admit, my writing is better because of it. However, each subscription to the service should come with a tube of preparation E to ease the editing pain.

I have not figured out where autocrit gets it’s averages for over used words, but I find it odd that if  I use “watch/observe/see”  any one of  those three twice in 2000 words, I am told I have over used them. If I use the word “look” more than once every 200o words, I get the same message. I think they should widen the genre they use for obtaining their averages, but then again, maybe it’s just me.

The homonym tab in autocrit, while I know it’s intention, what you often end up with is a chapter full of underlined words. Doesn’t mean any are misused, but here are so many homonyms highlighted, that it questions the efficiency. Don’t get me wrong, as I stated earlier, I use autocrit because I am convinced my work is better because of it. I wish only there was a way to lessen the pain. My current manuscript is over 150k words. Editing nights and weekends, it will take 2 1/2-3 weeks to work it through autocrit. 6k words at a time.

I long for the day when some genius bottles a preparation E  to ease the pain of editing. Until then, I keep my poker handy, always hot.