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  • Annette Austin


There are some factors to consider when you have finished your novel. Do you edit the book yourself?

These snippets of advice regarding self-editing may help you decide.


1. It’s Cheap

This is the major benefit of do-it-yourself editing. When you are on an extremely tight budget, there usually is not enough money to spend on editing services. Rather than having to hand out a substantial amount to someone who knows very little about your newly crafted masterpiece, you can do the job yourself for free. Nothing. Zero.

It will not only save you a large amount of cash, but you can then invest the money you saved into other areas of your writing empire.

2. Do-It-Yourself Editing Makes You A Better Writer

Having recently edited my fourth novel, ‘Betrayal of Love’ by myself having self- edited my other three novels, I can categorically say this – editing your novel will definitely make you a better writer. There is no doubt about this. You will find silly mistakes which you didn’t even realise you were making. It will expand your vocabulary, letting you think of other words to use instead. You’ll learn how to rephrase your sentences so that they are worded better. When you start to edit your work on a consistent basis, you’ll amend your work quicker, realising what errors you are making with your writing and you will be able to correct them.

Take it from someone who has ploughed this path before – the more novels you edit by yourself, the more your writing end-product will improve.

3. Avoid Repeating Yourself

Sometimes, when you are in the bubble of writing your potential bestseller, there is a temptation to get lost in your own world. Sometimes, the use of the same word can become a bad habit. For example, when I began editing my second novel, ‘Always A Slave’, I found out I had used the word 'that' almost 2,000 times! Now, perhaps using this word so many times would be a grand idea if I were writing an encyclopaedia, but repeating this word in a romantic fiction novel which is over 400 pages long is too much. So, I deleted and changed the wording of many of my sentences. While I was doing this, I also used a thesaurus (a priceless item if you want your writing to be better), finding other words to use instead of the dreaded ‘that’. When it becomes apparent a certain word or words is causing an issue, use another similar word to combat the problem. Most readers are not keen on seeing the same word repeatedly being used 5-10 times on the same page. It can smack of complacency at best, laziness at worst. Regularly editing your novels will help in cutting down the usage of the same words.

The second instalment of this blog will be published shortly.

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