Writer’s Toolkit: Self-edit like a pro

Snapshot version:

When self-editing, don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of changes or the length of your manuscript. Break it up into small, manageable chunks. Also use Microsoft’s “Read Aloud” and “Find and Replace” features to filter out some typical mistakes.

Expanded version

Self-editing is on the rise as authors seek to find ways to minimize costs while still getting a quality product out htere.

How you can self-edit effectively.

Use the following tips:

  • Don’t edit too much in one day. Depending on the length of your manuscript, aim for no more than 1-2 chapters so you don’t miss things your eyes otherwise may have caught.
  • Use the Microsoft Read-Aloud feature to catch missing words, duplicate words and weird sentences. You won’t catch homophones with this method but it’s still a great way of catching things your eyes might miss.
  • Look for different things each time. Once the heavy lifting of content editing is done, go through your manuscript looking for specific errors such as double spaces etc… using the “Find and Replace” feature of MS Word.
Black author of Christian historical suspense JP Robinson

JP Robinson is a prolific award-winning author. JP graduated from SUNY Stony Brook university at 19 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and another in French. He is currently wrapping up his Master’s of Education.

JP is a contributor to Guideposts, Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse, and the Salvation Army’s War Cry. His work has been praised by industry leaders such as Publishers Weekly and secured the #1 spot on Amazon’s historical thrillers category. JP often speaks to writers and church groups in the United States and internationally. When not writing or travelling, JP loves honing his archery skills. He has been happily married for over seventeen years to his high school sweetheart.

What do you think about this post?