Editing is one, if not the most important thing in the writing process.
It’s also one thing I don’t like. Don’t get me wrong I love editing other people’s work as I’m an editor myself, but when it comes to my own work, argh!
So I thought I would come up with a few tips on editing your own work. This isn’t to replace a professional editor at the end of it, but you should try and edit your own work as much as you can.
The most efficient way to edit is to isolate all the things you need to fix, and focus on fixing one thing on your list, before moving onto the next.
- Start with the first line. Is it compelling enough? Does it hook the reader?
- Go through you manuscript from beginning to end and check spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- Then move on to your characters. Are they consistent throughout the story? Are they distinguished from each other? Focus on each character and make sure they each have their own voice.
- Next move on to sentence structure. Remove unnecessary dialogue and repeated words or overused words, then tighten your descriptions.
- Try reading your story aloud. Or I often use my voice recognition software to read it to me and this can be very helpful.