Lately I feel like a hamster must feel on his little wheel going round and round. Edit, revise, repeat. And again. And again. And again.
What if you’re only on your first round of this dizzying cycle? Think how it will be when you get farther along!
Let me share with you five simple steps I’ve found helpful and hope will help you get started on the right track. These are not all-inclusive for self-editing, but they at least give you something to think about as you begin. Many resources are available in book form, on the web, or through your library.
To download the infographic, please click on this link.
Please keep in mind engaging a professional editor or editorial team to make certain your manuscript is ready to publish. These simple steps are offered to get started when your manuscript is as far as you can take it. Once you feel comfortable that your manuscript is as clean of simple errors as possible, it’s time to hire an editor.
I remember instructing my students to try Step 2, reading sentence in reverse order. They didn’t like the awkwardness of by-passing logical flow, but they did catch errors.
Great tips, classy website, Sherrey!
You know, Marian, I hadn’t heard of reading a sentence in reverse order until after I started seriously working on my memoir in 2006. How did that pass me by? Thanks for the comment on the tips and the site!
It was a tip I got from a colleague when I was still teaching college English Composition. I’m glad it works for you too.
Great tips, Sherrey. I pinned your graphic to my writing tips board for future reference.
Joan, thanks for reading and pinning the graphic. Glad you found these helpful tips.
Sherrey, I over self-edit. A former client calls me Pickie Pennie. That is never enough. For my upcoming book, Getting Rid of Ian, as a first step, I hired a professional content editor. She edited half the book then got pneumonia, and edited the other half in one day! A second editor did a much better job. Then gave the book to a friend who’s been a professional editor 40 years to copyedit. WARNING! STAY AWAY FROM FRIENDS. He made a mess of the book. Gave it to someone to proofread and she did a good job catching his mistakes. Then went over it myself again and guess what? Checked overused words: that, then, go, get, still, felt, look, so, good. Deleted 2,500. Took two days but worth it. So in addition to the tips you give, check for overused words. You may have a shock.
You and I are obviously from the same gene pool, Pennie! I am the worst at over self-editing. And forgive me, but the little vignette you share here had me giggling. Adding check overused words right now!!! Thanks for being a faithful sharing friend and encourager.
Thanks, Sherrey…praying for you as you persevere 🙂
Dolly, your prayers are appreciated! 🙂
Thanks for another excellent post, Sherrey. These are great tips for getting a manuscript ready for a professional editor–like cleaning the house in preparation for the cleaning lady! I think the tip that helped me the most when I was working on my memoir was to read chapters into a digital recorder and listening. Even just reading aloud helped with pacing issues, but listening offers an extra layer of review. Writing is rewriting for sure. Wishing you many blessings as you forge ahead in your journey.
Kathy, you made me laugh aloud! When you mentionedo “cleaning the house in preparation for the cleaning lady,” that’s exactly what I did the year Bob gave me a maid service for a year. Every Tuesday evening I worked like mad to make sure the house was presentable for them to come in and clean. I took so much ribbing because of that I still laugh at myself!
I like the tip of reading into a digital recorder and listening to the manuscript being read. I think I may try that one. I’m off to the writing house on Thursday to dedicate a day to working on these edits and revisions from the critiquing contest. It seems like a never-ending process.
These are great tips, Sherrey, and the idea of doing infographics summarizing your tips is also a good idea. I was unaware of that proofreader’s trick in #2 until you told me!
All best as you go through the hardest part of writing (for me, at least).
That little trick was shared with me by one of my dad’s proofreaders when I was about 13 or 14. Never forgot the ease with which it could be done after several days. This is the hardest part of writing my memoir so far. I’m spending a day at the Writing House on Thursday to fully focus on the task. Thanks for stopping by!
Okay – reading to a recording device. I LOVE that idea. How did you know my friends have all started running into the woods? Then I can hear it as I read aloud and again as I play it back. Cheers!
Seems everyone liked that idea. It works really well! I just learned about a new software that you can actually copy your text into and it reads it to you. Want to try it out before I recommend it though. Will keep you posted.
I can’t imagine how that would sound. Yes, please let me know if it works well.Cheers!
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