Learn selfediting methods and share your own advice!
Though it’s a great idea to hire editors and other helpers to read your book, practicing your own selfediting skills can improve your writing and make the overall process of creating a book much easier on you.
Understanding editing and all its components is so beneficial for any traditional or self-published writer, but it can definitely get overwhelming. Here are ideas on methods to use and how to break down the process.
Chapter by Chapter
Editing your whole book can be daunting! But what if we took a step back and edited it piece by piece. Go through it chapter by chapter, making a goal each day, week, or month of how many chapters you will edit at a time.
I know I have a much easier time going through my book when I have a set goal in mind. It makes it less stressful and it offers me a sense of progress, even if it’s small. It can also benefit you to make a plan on what you’re going to edit within each read through of a chapter. Will you focus on the plot first? Or get technical with the grammar and sentence structure? Write everything down and keep a planning journal to stay organized with deadlines and goals.
Another way to break down the process is setting daily, weekly, and monthly page goals. I like to go in increments of 10 so that it’s easy to remember where to start and end. Just make sure you write it down in your planning journal so you can easily keep track. Also, write your list of things you’re going to focus on with each read. You may even want to put a giant calendar on your wall so you know what to do each day and how long you should spend on it.
One At A Time
Developmental, line, copy, proofreading – those are the four main types of editing. Go through your full manuscript, only focusing on one type of editing at a time. Again, keep a journal for planning and organization with deadlines and daily, weekly, and monthly goals to stay on track.
Here is the order in which you should edit:
- Developmental Editing – This looks at the big picture and what’s happening in the story. It involves the plot, characters, pacing, etc.
- Line Edit – This means you go sentence by sentence studying the structure, word choices, and style. It combines the creativity of developmental editing and the technicality of copy editing.
- Copy editing – This is a highly advanced proofread. You look at consistency in grammatical and numeral choices, typos, paragraph density, etc. It’s very technical and should be focused on after the plot and characters have been fully developed.
- Proofreading – The last line of defense to banish typos and other silly errors that your brain didn’t let you see. You’ve read it so many times, and this is the last check before you’re ready to publish to make sure what’s there is correct.
It’s a good idea to take a break between each editing stage to give yourself a chance to recharge and allow your brain to forget what’s written so that you can have a fresh perspective.
I hope this is helpful and that you continue to learn and grow as a writer and editor. Have your own advice to share? Comment below!
Thank you for reading advice on Selfediting Methods!
Want to be part of my blogging experience? Hit me up on the contact page to ask questions, request new topics, or submit a guest post. Then, sign up to my bookish newsletter and never miss out on updates, contests, and more!
Are you looking for someone to create beautifully crafted content or edit your masterpiece for you? Hire my talents: Hire Kirsten!
Featured Image: Made Using Canva