Table of Contents
- 10 Tips on Editing Self-Written Content
- Key Takeaways
Be it a novel, prose, book, or listicle, the biggest dilemma most writers face is how to edit the content after the writing process is done. We agree the process can be tacky but is it impossible? Definitely not!
In this blog, we bring you 10 tips for editing self-written content.
10 Tips for Editing Self-Written Content
1. Change the formatting or document type
Adhering to the same font style, color, or document type over and over again can tire your vision. If you are using Google Docs for initial writing and curation, switch to a PDF version or, better, take a printout to avoid long screen-time. It is a proven way to up your editing efficiency.
2. Be careful with the Thesaurus
Ensure your language is clear and explicit, and then engage a Thesaurus only when absolutely necessary. Don’t take up a term or phrase unless you’re convinced how to interpret it. Keep an eye open for grammatical and wording errors.
3. Read aloud and edit simultaneously
By rehearsing each line back to yourself, you can close the gap between your psyche and those elements of your work that are overlooked. It’s a foolproof method of self-editing. Also, remember to prefer active voice before passive – cut to the chase, do not wander around.
4. Study of a style manual
So you use APA, Chicago formatting? Cool. Which one, particularly? Style A or Style B? Determine what literary style guide corresponds to your work. Follow the proper criteria provided and include them in your proofreading brief regarding italicizations and parentheses, footnoting, and more.
5. When to proofread?
Having dropped a cue about proofreading in the last section, it would be wise to tell you when to proofread. During self-editing, proofing must be the final stage. Because you’ll be revising phrases and passages when you proceed, looking for grammatical corrections or running a word processor before submitting your completed copy will just take longer, and it is not worth it.
6. Stop repeating the same terms
Avoid relying on specific lexical items whenever you are stating a fact; readers would know if you rehashed yourself. Strive for a wide range of experiences. For identifying repetitive terms, use a word repetition meter and a glossary to look for substitutes.
7. Edit gradually; not all at once
Too tired or scared to start editing? Do this: divide your chores into sections, ensure that your thoughts flow naturally, and look at the grammar and syntax on a progressive level. Take things forward gradually and do not rush to undertake every activity together.
8. Too many adverbs can steal the magic
Adverbs will become less necessary if you just employ definite and exact words and grammar. You could still squeeze one of them in every now and then. Nevertheless, expert writers who argue against adverbs confess to doing so on occasion- but TOO MUCH of it would be poisonous.
9. Avoid extras like preludes and prologues
A prelude is mainly the history of the text’s characters. The background story will not usually give the components of suspense, tension, or mystery—it just consumes your time while editing. Unless absolutely necessary, do not use a prologue. Place the audience in the immediate, in the middle of the narrative. Let it shiver with suspense and crispness; avoid the extras.
10. Using fillers is not the rule of thumb
To eliminate repetitive terms/expressions, use the Ctrl+F function to look for “here,” “the,” “there,” and “that.” To attain brevity and sharpness in your content, minimize these fillers as much as possible.
- Pay attention like it’s not your work: Attentional bias makes you pay relatively less attention to your work and more to that of others. But can we use this up to our advantage? Yes. When you proofread your content for the first time after finishing curation, skim through it as if it is someone else’s work. Rest assured, you will start to spot errors and details that you might have missed earlier.
- Never exhibit overconfidence with editing: ‘Editing’ and ‘Overconfidence’ are two aspects of writing that tend not to go along. Avoid the mistake of assuming that you consciously know every word you have penned. Read it once, and then again, until you attain quality checks.
- Use tools if necessary: Many editing tools today – one of the most prominent ones being grammar.ly – can help you monitor the grammar and tone of your text, from its punctuation score to wordy sentences. Even though you do not have to rely on the AI for all your editing work, still consider it as a follow-up.
- Seek help from a friend or mentor: If you feel like you are through with every ounce of your work, and no more effort has to be put in from your end into its editing, try and get it reviewed by a friend or a professional if you can. This will save your mind the space for any more self-doubts and help your content receive its initial share of feedback too.
- Take criticism positively: Editing for long hours can take a toll on your mind. Once finally reviewed and proofread, there might still be chances that someone points out a lacuna or two. If this happens, calm down (we know how that feels) and look at the review constructively. It is only for the betterment of the content you put so much time and energy into.
Keeping these tips at your fingertips would aid you not only in editing self-written content but even in improving your overall writing process. Web content editing is the key to better writing.
If you have created your draft on Google Docs or MS Word, preferably convert that into a PDF to highlight and add comments to your own work for further improvisation.
The best way to get over the wordiness of your texts is to eliminate fillers. It not only shortens but also strengthens your art of writing.
Divide your chores into sections, ensure that your thoughts flow naturally, and look at grammar and syntax on a progressive level—to manage this.
Repetitive use of terms like “seems to be,” “prior to the fact,” “very/really,” and our favorite one – “the”- makes the text look congested and unnecessary. Get rid of them while you are editing.
SpellChecker and Grammarly are some excellent tools to edit your work via artificial intelligence. Don’t rely solely on them, though.