10 Awesome Ways To Self-Edit Your Book More Effectively

Photo By David Pennington

It’s important to write as well as you can write your story. There have been some folks “worried…” about their grammar or writing skills (in a writing group I am in).

If you are making a sincere effort to self-edit and someone is personally throwing you under a bus, find a new beta reader.


Writers have different skill sets and strengths. People asked me how to self-edit better.

1. When in doubt delete it.

(99% of my work. I edited a book for a professional author yesterday. I added two words.)

2. Use the easiest word possible.

(No dictionaries. This isn’t school.)

3. Write short sentences.

(It also helps in married life, btw.)

4. Cut anything that is not a noun, adjective or verb.

(Adverbs are the devil. P.S. Save your … — — ; !!! for your iPhone. (No…body — -talks; like that!!!))

5. Spend hours, days, and weeks doing nothing but deleting ku-rap.

(It’s pretty boring. I’m not going to lie.)

**Nods, shrugs, slumps, turns, sits, stands, winks, (big, sly, small, inside) smiles, smirks, laughs, giggles, chuckles, frowns, wells up with, trails off, begins to, starts to, decides to, pauses, hesitates to, feels, seems, appears, looks like…had…glances, peers, peeks, side eye, harsh whisper, grunt, growl, yawn, cough…throat clearing…hmm, um, uh, oh, well, so…(you get the idea).**

6. Listen to it.

(You’ll pick off a ton of squirrels. Early on, elephants.)

7. Use every free online checker you can find.

(I pay no money for that stuff. If I were rich, I wouldn’t need to write. (snort, snort))

8. Be able to tell anyone why someone, something, or some scene is in your story.

(If you don’t know, how will the reader?)

9. Enjoy the process and progress.

(Fame and fortune are awesome, but life is a little short to be unhappy sitting in front of a computer.)

10. Repeat.

(Seriously, this stops many authors and crushes most books. It needed that one more (whatever) to be super. And a writer called it a day…a shame.)

Question O’ The Day- How do you go about cleaning up your writing?



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Craig Hoffman

Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”