Editor Helga Schier Explains How to Self-Edit a Book Manuscript

Editing your own work can be an arduous and painstaking task. Not every writer is cut out for it. For some writers, editing is their favorite part of the writing process. In this video, editor Helga Schier teaches how to edit your own manuscript using the three levels of editing. Schier acknowledges that self-editing a book manuscript is worthwhile because hiring an editor is not an inexpensive endeavor. If, though, you plan to edit a manuscript yourself, she has a few recommendations. First, she advises writers to put their first draft in a drawer for a bit after it’s completed. This will give them a chance to take a break from the manuscript and read other authors’ work. In fact, she suggests that writers actively read books and flag sections they liked. This practice of “flagging” passages that create a positive emotional reaction will help you recognize what you like. Then she says to go back to your book and flag your own work. “Those things,” says Schier, “are the base layer of your manuscript that won’t change.” Then she says to read your manuscript three more times, each time corresponding to the three levels of readability or editing tasks. First, look for content issues, then style and voice issues, and finally grammar issues. Flag each of these things and then revise everything. Listen to Schier in the clip below to learn more about why these are helpful practices.

Share this story
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn