Monday, January 12, 2015

Self Editing Tips and Tricks For January

So, you've finished your first draft. Great. Congratulations. Now the real work begins.
If you're with a publisher you'll be turning in your manuscript for editing. The editor will make notes of changes they want and send it back to you for you to edit and re-submit.

If you're self publishing, then you will need to hire your own editor. I say need, because this is a must. An editor is the most important investment you can make in your writing. Book covers, marketing, branding, all are important, but before you do any of those things you want your book to be the best it can be. I thought I couldn't afford an editor. I didn't know where to even start looking my first time around. Rookie mistake, but I'm telling you this so you don't make the same mistake I did.  Now, I know better. I'm even having my first work of fiction re-edited.

An editor makes you a better writer. I recommend the professionals over at PageCurl Publishing and Promotion. I worked with Patricia, Samantha and Melody on my recent holiday romantic short, I'm currently working with them to polish up my first work of fiction, and edit my current WIP.

That said, there are a few things you can do yourself before handing your manuscript over to your editor, which your editor will also appreciate. Here are some tips I've learned that I hope will come in handy. I write contemporary romance. Not all the tips below may be applicable if you are writing scifi, historical fiction or suspense. Keep that in mind. I will

  1. Always spell out the word okay. Don't overuse.
  2. Always capitalize God.
  3. Avoid the word just. It tends to be a crutch for a lot of writers.
  4. Use contractions. Find all the instances of it is, she is, I am, that is, he will, etc. and contract.
  5. Use the Find tool to find and replace words too often used as well as contractions.
  6. Do not use the Find and Replace all tool. This is tempting, but should be avoided. There are some instances where it is isn't it's, but its.
  7. Use first line indent at the beginning of each paragraph. Do not tab or use space bar. Use the tool bar at the top to format your entire document.
  8. Use insert page break at the end of the last sentence of each chapter.
  9. Numbers under 100 should be spelled out. Exceptions to the rule are for an address or time.
  10. Always have a minimum of two or three beta readers read before submitting for final edit to catch those things you are too close to see.
I hope those were helpful. I'll post more again in the future.

Do you have any quick tips you can share for self-editing?

Thanks for reading.

Choosing to Dream, Book 2 of the Sunset Dreams series is coming soon. Stay tuned.

You can find me online at


  1. This is absolutely timely. Very useful for a beginner like me. Thanks for this write-up.

  2. Fantastic advice. Thanks, Jennifer.