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Easy Self-Editing Tricks to Polish Your Manuscript | INPress International

Easy Self-Editing Tricks to Polish Your Manuscript | INPress International
Easy Self-Editing Tricks to Polish Your Manuscript | INPress International

Editing your own manuscript requires diligence but offers great cost-savings if done systematically. We'll explore simple self-editing techniques any author can implement to catch plot holes, tighten prose, refine character arcs and polish their book to professional standards.

Focus on One Round at a Time Developmental edits examine big-picture structural problems whereas copyediting zeroes in on typos, grammar and consistency issues. Attempt only one thorough round per sitting to maintain concentration.

Use the Fresh Eyes Technique Step away from your draft for 2-4 weeks then revisit with an open, impartial perspective. Minor details previously skipped over may now seem glaringly obvious.

Create an Editing Checklist List common categories like plot/pacing, character development, description quality, dialogue realism and grammar/spelling to methodically screen each chapter.

Recite Your Work Aloud Hearing the flow exposes odd phrasings, repetitive words or clunky transitions that may appear fine on the page. Make reader-friendly adjustments.

Timebox Editing Sessions Set a 25-minute timer to stay focused without burnout during longer stints. Take microbreaks to recharge before diving back in fresh.

Employ Reader Surveys Circulate anonymous feedback forms or post excerpts online requesting constructive critique. Incorporate popular suggestions to strengthen broader appeal.

Enlist Beta Readers Provide early drafts to writer friends along with a targeted questionnaire. Their unique perspectives catch blindspots missed through repeated exposures.

Invest in Affordable Software Pro writing tools highlight typos, correct punctuation usage and flag common errors swiftly for increased productivity. Some even offer basic style checks.

Keep Track of Changes Note each round of edits, dates and types of corrections for easy reference down the road or full rewrite cycles. Monitor overall progress over many drafts.

Reformat for Fresh Insights Alter font, margins or switch to handwriting mode on a tablet to view content in a new light. Subtle adjustments spark fresh ideas.

Give Yourself Permission to Edit Freely Don't cling tightly to every word - be bold removing unnecessary scenes or reworking weak elements. The story, not ego, should steer revisions.

Outsource Proofreading if Needed While pricey full developmental editing remains out of reach, many freelancers competently proof manuscripts for affordable flat rates. It catches errors self-editing may overlook.

Reread with a Critical Publisher's Eye Imagine suggesting the book for acquisition and consider realistic marketing obstacles or competition in the category. Bolster weaknesses proactively.

Polish Your Synopsis and Sample Chapters Too These represent your work publicly and must shine as professionally executed as the full draft. Devote serious self-editing energy to these marketing tools as well.

With an organized process and determination to steadily refine your manuscript through multiple rounds, any dedicated writer can successfully self-edit their book to a polished, publication-ready standard. Implement these simple yet powerful techniques regularly for maximum results!


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