Thursday 6 April 2017

Editing Tips for Writers: Top Five Self-Editing Tips

Top 5 Self-Editing Tips

Further to my last post on the stages of self-editing, I thought I’d share my top five tips on what to look out for when going through your manuscript.

1) Passive Voice—This construct has its place and uses, but avoid overuse as active language will give your prose more punch.

2) Repetition—Watch out for lack of variety in your prose. If you use a word a lot, consider changing a few out with synonyms (e.g. looked could be alternative with glanced, gazed etc.).

3) Filler Words—Use the Find function in word to locate filler words like really, very, and just, and remove them in every instance where the sentence makes sense without them.

4) Dialogue Tags—Remove dialogue tags wherever they aren’t needed for comprehension or to know who’s speaking.

5) Consistency—Check for consistency of spelling, grammar, formatting, and descriptions (e.g. the character shouldn’t have blond hair on one page and brown on the next).


  1. Appreciated the great self-editing tips-About to do a final edit of a short story of mine today before sending it to someone for an opinion and this was some timely advice!

  2. You're welcome, Jayne. I'm glad you found them useful!