31 Tips for Self-Editing Your Fiction Novel

Welcome to the Writerly Things Blog, a resource dedicated to helping you find your inner writer, creating balance in an unplanned life, and fostering your growth as a writer and entrepreneur. So, whether you’re new or seasoned, welcome and let’s get started! This week we’re going to talk about my tips for self-editing your novel.

Like every other phase in the writerly process, the self-editing phase is crucial to completing your manuscript. While it’s entirely possible to send your roughest rough draft to a fresh group of beta readers, it isn’t ideal – and they’d probably appreciate the service of even the most basic proofread.
Honestly though, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t self-edit. Yes, even if you don’t enlist beta reader assistance and go straight for the expensive-AF professional editor. When one self-edits, you’re catching the little things betas and professional editors will likely also catch, which means you’re setting them up to catch larger, oftentimes more expansive issues.
Since you’re so close to your work, you probably aren’t going to catch overtly confusing sentences or unclear details, because you know all-the-things about your novel. You don’t need to read that the water beaded on their face as they ran through the winter rain, because you know that’s what’s happening. A reader with fresh eyes and a blank slate won’t see those things, because they haven’t already experienced the scene a million-and-a-half times.
All that being said, self-editing is a service to yourself and allows you to cash-in and fully utilize your betas and professional editor to the best of their abilities.

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