How to Self-Edit Your Novel

In this video I discuss how to go about the daunting process of self-editing your novel. Even if you intend to use beta readers, a freelance editor, or both, knowing how to do a thorough self-edit is a vital skill that will help advance your writing career.

The best and most efficient way to self-edit your novel is to focus on the big picture and then work your way smaller. I recommend this order:

1. Perfect and clarify the character arc.
2. Ensure the plot points are at the right places and contain the right elements.
3. Search for unneeded scenes and delete them.
4. Improve scenes by adding more tension or conflict and by improving the structure.
5. Line edit and strengthen the word choices, phrases, and organization.

For help with novel structure and plot points, check out this playlist of videos:

For help with scene structure, check out this playlist of videos:

If you have any questions or requests for upcoming videos, leave them in the comments here or on my YouTube channel. Thanks!

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3 thoughts on “How to Self-Edit Your Novel

  1. joehefferon says:

    The big picture is critical to understand. I just discovered a glaring error by chunking my MS. I needed to establish two characters as friends before a critical moment. I hadn’t done it. I was so caught up in line editing I missed an important bit of exposition.

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