How do you self-edit?

How do you self-edit your ms? This is the first point in my talk about the ‘5 steps to publishing an ebook’. Self-editing. I mention how I self-edit, an idea I got from a fellow children’s author, Sara Grant. Here is what I do.

Once I have finished my revisions and added any notes to it, it is time to self-edit. This is my highlighting phase, as I call it. First I will  highlight each aspect of the ms eg dialogue will be in pink. I will go from start to finish, adding a coloured blob as I go along if I think it needs extra material. Pink if it needs more dialogue. I will do this with all my colours until I have a whole ms that is multi-coloured and with blobs in pages. Then I will go through it from the start again and scribble down the extra material that is needed. A paragraph may need more description of a character, so I will add that. Once I have done that phase, I will type those amendments up and print it out on plain paper. Then it is on to the next highlighting – of each verb. You might be surprised to find how many times a character is smiling or shaking their head. I will change the verbs after that or delete a few. Then it is on to highlighting repetitive words such as ‘and’. If a paragraph has more than 2 ‘ands’ in it, I will either change it or delete it.

The last phase is the ‘read-aloud’ edit. It is often said that it is a v good idea to read out loud your ms. That way you can find any more errors you might have missed. If you stumble on any words, then your reader is bound to do the same. So you can change it.

The next step is getting a professional edit for your ms. The next post will be answering why you should, esp if you want to be a professional indie author.





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