Time-saving tips to edit your own writing

Editing my writing is like doing laundry: I hate to do it, but it has to be done. We might as well do it efficiently, right? Let’s go.

Write from the heart and edit with your head. Effective editing requires emotional disconnecting from the text, while good writing and rewriting needs that connection. It’s the reason why you shouldn’t edit yourself as you write.

Like most editors, freelance or not, I charge by two determining factors: word count and how much work I have to do. Substantive editing is reserved for extremely dirty copy: writing with more than just grammar, punctuation, and syntax problems.

Error-plagued copy can multiply your charge per word by up to three times. For the self-published or indie-published author, efficiency is crucial because you’re on your own dime.

One thing I always do is to read my copy backwards, sentence by sentence. This breaks up the flow of my writing, and I can see your mistakes more clearly.

Also, try this: hit “control-F” to activate your Word or Works program’s find and replace function. Enter the letters “ly” together in the “Find what” box. This will highlight your adverbs ending in “ly,” one by one.

Weak verbs need adverbs as modifiers. Try to replace the weak verb with another verb that eliminates that need for a modifier, which will simultaneously lower your word count.

Happy editing!

Brian Thompson’s passion is motivating and encouraging others to write and to pursue Do-It-Yourself publishing. He is also author of the Christian fiction thrillers The Lost Testament, and The Revelation Gate. You can read more about Brian by visiting his author site.

One thought on “Time-saving tips to edit your own writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: