What is this Google Doc nonsense and what do I do?
Google Docs is a function of Google Drive
and comes free with any Google account. If you have a Gmail or YouTube account, you probably already have access to Google Drive! Google Docs works just like any word processor program and even automatically saves to the Drive every few minutes to every few seconds. For this thread, we need your chapter to be in Google Docs and shared so people can proof it easily. I'll try to explain how to do this quickly but concisely. It looks like a lot of text and weird instructions, but it takes no more than a couple minutes.
Uploading your fic to the Google Drive & getting a doc link
From the Google Drive page (which is where the hyperlink above takes you), look to the left and click "Create". Select "Document" from the menu that appears. It should open a new page that looks a little like MS Word. Copy your fic chapter into the main body and click "Untitled Document
" at the top to name your file. Typically, I name it after the chapter. Then, look to the top right and click the "Share" button. If you haven't named your document, it will prompt you to do so.
From the small square that appears, hit "Advanced" from the lower right hand corner. There will be a heading in the new screen called "Who has access". Under that should have a box that reads "Private - Only you have access". Next to that is a link that says "Change...". Click that. In the new screen, select "On - Anyone with link". A new line will appear at the bottom that should read "Access: Anyone (no sign-in required) Can View". Click "Can view" and change that to "Can Comment". Hit "Save" at the bottom. From the screen it leaves you at, copy the text inside the box that's labeled "Link to share". This is the link that I asked you for in the form above. Hit "Done" at the bottom.
And that's all there is to it! If you're feeling up to it, there are a few other functions that will be important when you review chapters in Google Docs.
Making a Comment
If you want to make a comment about a section of text, highlight the text in question and right click that text. In the menu, half-way down will be "Comment". Select that, and a little box should appear to the right with your name & avatar. In the text box, fill out your comment and hit "Comment". Anyone viewing the doc can view and respond to comments, kind of like a mini-thread. It's good for discussing rewording issues and other non-error related issues. Comments will go away if the text it's attached to is erased, so make note of that. Resolved or removed comments and their replies are saved in the "Comments" button at the top, so discussions won't be entirely lost if that happens!
Suggesting an Edit
The "Suggest Edits" option is located in the drop down menu after highlighting text, just under "Comment". Selecting that will change your view mode to "Suggesting", which can be changed in the drop down menu at the top of the screen under the "Comments" button (you can also turn on "Suggesting" mode this way too). While in Suggesting mode, you can edit the document as if it were your own doc, but all edits appear as suggestions. They also open a kind of comment to the side that can be replied to and discussed just like regular comments. This functionality is really good for pointing out errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
The Docs have plenty more features, like being able to chat with people currently looking at your doc in real time. But these functions are better understood by playing with them and aren't vital to the proofing process, so I won't go into detail with it.