Self-Editing Tips: Steps to Make your Editor Love You
Self-editing is an important part of the editing process and as a writer, it’s important that you keep that in mind. This blog post will walk through several self-editing tips so that you can prepare your book for an editor.
Editors love to read. We do it every day and having the ability to help people tell their stories is really satisfying. A lot of the work we get is well-polished, but still requires a lot of markups and recommendations. That’s normal and how it should be.
With that said, when editors are sent a rough draft that has never gone through the self-editing process, it is quite challenging to do anything with it. Basic technical issues like replacing adverbs with stronger verbs and writing in the same perspective are basics that should be corrected before you start looking for an editor. It will cost you way more money to pay for this level of editing.
In fact, top editors might not even take these jobs due to time constraints. They just don’t have time to fit in full rewriting of a book. So here are some of the basics that writers should do before sending their book to an editor.
Self-Editing Tips #1: Swap Out Boring Adverbs for Gut-Punching Verbs
When writing a draft, you don’t worry about choosing the perfect words. You are just in full on writing mode! But that also causes you to choose a lot of boring adverbs.
Before you send your book to an editor, replace these with powerful verbs that resonate with your audience. It makes readers much more excited to see fun and actionable verbs being used.
Self-Editing Tips #2: Have a Variance of Sentence Structure
Sentence structure is a significant issue that I see quite often. Most notably, I see people starting 70% of their sentences with a pronoun. This should be under the 30% mark so your initial self-edit will involve making sure that your sentences are structures differently.
Varying sentence structure alone can transform a mediocre book into a masterpiece.
Self-Editing Tips #3: Redundancies Clutter a Manuscript so Cut Them
For instance, using the phrase “joint collaboration” is redundant. Unless a person is collaborating with their split personalities, then the term “joint” is implied. There is no need to use it as an adjective for collaboration so remove it.
The same with a “free giveaway.” I mean wouldn’t free be implied when giving something away?
I’m sure you see my point. You will be surprised at how many of these clutter a draft.
These self-editing tips will free up your editor so they can focus on more important issues. If you bog them down with this cluster, then they are not going to be able to put as much effort into the important issues that editors are paid to fix.