Self-editing -major steps to follow while editing
- December 9, 2022
- Posted by: UGABI IGBAJI
- Category: Book Writing Guide
Self-editing -major steps to follow while editing
It would only be defined as imminent that a sense of fulfilment arises for every writer the moment they easily convince themselves that their 3 months’ work has come to an end.
In your case, it might be franklin Benjamin’s text construct of a biography or a huckleberry Finn text-style spin-off. Whatever it might be, it is conceivable that 3 hours- 3 days- 3 months of formatting should put you in the spinning distance with dream actualization, right?
What you might perceive as a short distance or a little step away from success with respect to the aftermath of finished work is a more sizeable equivalent to an 8000 light year jump back in time. It’s not a debatable topic when they say the happiness of a writer is short-lived.
The nightmare soon begins after completing the first draft and vending out congratulatory messages and possibly rendering yourself a pat on the back, it would only take a matter of time before your thought is infringed by the menacing realization of a forgotten scene or a flawed character design—you know.
Those awkward abandonments that you promised to revisit the moment you finish. Gingerly the four walls structuring your happiness are brought to the ground as digger-like remembrance of the excessive application of overkills, or the overuse of one particular conjunction or one particular word like “that” “said” starts creeping in, you would become constantly reminded of those outlines that Microsoft word didn’t fail to plague your write up with.
You would indeed start birthing plausible nightmares that after all your manuscript is 3 months behind from being finished.
I only imagine you reducing your status with the ignoble notion that every writer/author needs an editor. Of course, that is an effective way of warding off time-ingesting work, but that shouldn’t be an anchor the precision and literary accuracy of your work should wholly rely on, it’s not a bad thing to send off your work to a professional editor to help tie loose knots your first line of defense should be home based as a writer adapt to the habit of self-editing especially if you are subsisting penniless amid great plenty.
Yours sincerely have been opportune to phase through a number of write-ups, articles, and books and its rather a pity that the present generation of authors are racing to turn in their work for publication without properly checking for errors.
With the rate at which things are going it’s arduous to point out that Chinua Achebe died on the 21st of march and the rise of his incarnate is merely a wish upon a starry night to say the least, those errors and failed patterned punctuations or those overlooked sentence fragments, and misapplied words is what is keeping your work from being featured on new york times.
That’s the expanding gap that is preventing you from publishing another things fall apart. But it doesn’t have to go that way provided you are willing to effectively edit your work and fine tune it till it fits your taste with your own hands, then abide by the tips below.
1. Side-line your manuscript: do not edit immediately
Although Grammarly and Google doc has proven times without number to be an effective editing tool, but before you enlist the digital aid of perfection oriented programs you would want to begin the whole editing phase by clinging tightly to the advice of Henry David or examples set by Stephen kings that is they are anything to go by, then, you shouldn’t begin editing immediately.
Keep your work aside for a couple of days, if possible a week or two just make sure it’s shielded away long enough for you to forget everything you have written so the moment you come back the entire write up becomes foreign, that way the idea of an already enthralling piece is purged out of your mind and you’d be left with a work susceptive to efficient self-criticism.
2. Hear your work speak
This aspect takes out the “self” out of self-editing, the whole concept of it was to do it by yourself, but doing so would faintly debunk the philosophical citation that augments the need for communism, Nobody is an island of knowledge. Before the self-glorification and bluster begin enlist a second party to read out loud the contents of your work.
You see, assessing your work by yourself would present everything as one that has fallen in their appropriate position but another person might see it differently, the manner in which you have segmented your paragraphs and ensued punctuations might appear satisfying to you.
But the main purpose of writing to publish is not for self-pleasure but rather for the delight of others so for that cause, use a secondary device to evaluate your piece, a Pc automated narrator can, as well, reach that demand so far you endeavor to put it to use, but if such is not at arm’s reach it’s best to use a friend.
3. Explore for inappropriate and wrongly applied words
Of course, this is where Grammarly and Google docs come to play. Writing will become easy the moment you elect to expel wrongly used words and tenses. There is an expanding list of words that most writers become brain tangled when they come across that very point that would be requiring a conjunction or a word that shares pronunciation and spelling with 3 to 4 other homonyms.
When you come across such, there is no reward for tackling it yourself, you can just employ the use of word processors to sort out the ball of yarn that has brought your attention to mental abeyance. Below is the list of words most writers find puzzling to sort out.
- Yours/ your’s
- A lot/ a lot
- Account/ a count
4. Step down on word repetition
How often do you see the same word in your work? How frequently do you see the same word appearing in the Lincoln rhymes Bone collector? How often did you see the letter “E” in Ernest Vincent wright’s Gadsby?
This is not a nudge to do away with articles, conjunctions, and prepositions, but try and assess your work from a receiving angle don’t you really get tired of writing, “and he said”, and then she said”, “and after the long award stare he said”?
I am not prodding you to pen down words like he voiced out sonically from his speech organ or he relapsed his tongue and harpooned vocally so that words flowed out. Likewise, there is a recurring case of words like suddenly, that, replied appearing frequently sometimes there is a pricking feeling that makes you feel uneasy about such in similitude readers do abhor the constant use of words that can be easily replaced with synonyms why? For one it makes the write-up unprofessional.
Everyone believes in the fine line that separates nursery rhymes and playbooks from professional hardcovers and advanced literary anthologies, your work shouldn’t deplete the line and create a conflict of concept, there are more words to use other than suddenly, there is occasionally, frequently, and even subsequently, do you get it?
5. Be cautious of punctuations.
This is where most writing errors stem from, not knowing when to use a comma or an exclamation work can be a real problem for you, and hauling this over to a paid editor can just pique him off till he blatantly works with what is already written and turns in back in.
There isn’t much advice sitting on top of this particular section aside maybe, commas are signposts for a break and full stops are indication of a sentence ending. Exclamations indicate expression and only one should be employed. The significance of the remaining punctuations should be a history factor meant to be unearthed by you. Understanding them
via reasons of a research would help you know their uses or if you find out that you are lull you can leave the heavy lifting for designated editing programs and software.
6. Be cautious of spelling error
It doesn’t exist as a myth that digitalization has resulted in cognitive imbalance and as so even the most educated writers are prone to spelling errors, words like wether and whether, layed and laid, dieing and dying is something 1 in every 5 individual battles with.
The best guess to appropriating this is to apply the use of automated editing programs or just invest in an extensive period reading a dictionary, it won’t hurt to try either of them both after all it’s for a worthy cause.
7. Don’t pull through with an overkill
Of course, you already have a map of your desired work, now imagine new address surfacing? Imagine new paths being created? Paths that direct to an entire contrasting meaning and understanding, that very moment is when you would realize that there is no existing lane dividing a walk to vain perfection you would eventually dine with futile efforts and overkills
Do not over edit, in your chase for accuracy and unmatched excellence do not scatter your work with the notion that you are making it better because you are at a point of no return so it’s either you edit with caution or risk starting afresh, you can use this format as a guide
- Save your work a word document
- Use double spacing
- Use a single space after a full stop
- Do not indent the first paragraph of any chapter, subheader or listed
- Break pages within chapters
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