Quick Tips for Self-Editing

Quick Tips

Everyone likes a helpful tip or two, so here are a few you may find useful when self-editing.

Before I begin, any tips listed here in no way are meant to replace hiring an actual editor. Hiring an editor is a must. I only mean to help you through your pre-edit so your editor can concentrate on the nitty gritty of helping you become a better writer. I work with PageCurl Publishing and Promotion and I highly recommend their services.

Now let’s get to it.

Here are five quick tips that I’ve learned through the editing process:

  1. Be careful with the details; i.e. if you have already stating something in the dialog, don’t restate it in the prose.
  2. Foreign words should be italicized; i.e. your heroine is traveling in Italy and she greets someone in Italian. “Buon giorno” should be in italics.
  3. Toward and towards are both correct, but you need to choose one and stick with it for consistency.
  4. I feel can often be replaced or omitted. It can be passive; e.g. use I’m sad instead of I feel sad.
  5. Also -ing verbs are often passive. I’m going to school.  I go to school is cleaner.

If you are looking for more quick tips, remember to check out my blog post on Self-Editing Tips and Tricks for January.

Do you have any tips you can share?

You can find me online at www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com

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2 thoughts on “Quick Tips for Self-Editing

  1. My tip to add to your tips would be to not look for them whilst reading. Use a global search to find every usage of ‘toward/towards’. It will take about 2 minutes to check that one in the manuscript. I have 50+ of these things on my global search list because I know I will miss them in reading. Search for the keystrokes ‘I feel’. Don’t trust your mind to register them in passing when it’s occupied with 20 other things. Global search ‘ing’ and check every usage – probably an hour or two in that one.


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