A few tips on improving your writing with good editing. How to avoid common errors and pitfalls to make your book a better read.

Ernest Hemingway once said that “writing is rewriting.” There is no doubt that good writing also has a lot to do with good editing. So what are some essential skills to editing your book?

Firstly, there are many common grammar and sentence structure issues to be aware of.  One of the most common errors is the run-on sentence.  Remember to read your book and break longer sentences into shorter ones. It could make the writing much easier to read. Chapters, paragraphs, sentences, and commas all serve to break the narrative into smaller pieces that are easier for the reader to digest. So make sure your chapters, paragraphs, and sentences don’t run on for too long.  Also, use commas to separate phrases within a sentence. That breaks the sentence down into smaller phrases that are easier to read and understand.

How To Avoid Common Errors When Editing Your Book

When it comes to editing, the main point to remember is to keep your writing as concise as possible. Avoid repeating words and concepts.  Don’t digress; stick to the main idea, or plot, of your book. Trim out excess language and unnecessary passages so your writing doesn’t get bogged down in the inessentials. It should also improve the pacing of your work, making it a swifter and clearer read.

Also, don’t forget the basics, such as using your spelling and grammar check tools. The thesaurus is also invaluable when it comes to avoiding repetition; synonyms can do wonders for writing. There are also many online resources that can help with grammar and citations, such as the Purdue website:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

It can often be tough to edit your work and to see it in an objective light. So it’s a good idea to have a professional editor proofread your book before you submit it for possible publication. Not only will a professional editor correct grammar and spelling errors, but he or she will also advise you on how to improve your writing in the future. Your professional editor may also give you invaluable advice on how to submit your work for publication. Plus, hiring a professional editor only costs a few pennies per word, so it is a good idea to have your book professionally reviewed.

Originally posted 10/6/2010 and happily updated 10/27/2017. Thanks for reading!

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