Writing: How to Self-Edit Your Novel

This post by Jessica Bell originally appeared on the ALLi blog on 6/26/14.

Professional editor Jessica Bell, an Australian author and poet living in Athens, Greece, shares her top tips for polishing your fiction writing. Her advice will help you make your book the best it can be, prior to publication. This post complements Derek Murphy’s recent article about employing editors.

Ugh. It’s time to edit your novel. What a drag, right? It doesn’t have to be.

If you take a systematic approach, you can make sure you catch as many mistakes and writing pitfalls as possible without feeling overwhelmed by it all.

I’ve been an editor for more than ten years, and there is the one rule I live by which gets excellent results every time: edit piece by piece.

Sound ambiguous? Let me explain.


The Editing Process

When we read a manuscript from beginning to end, we aren’t able to concentrate on every detail at once.

For example, let’s say you’ve read through the first chapter of your manuscript and the only error you notice is the word cafe lacking the accent on the e. Easy. You fix it. And you make a mental note to catch that as you go along.


Click here to read the full post on the ALLi blog.


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