How to Edit Your Novel: A Series

I’ve been promising an editing/polishing series for some time now and here it is. Ta da!!!


Okay, editing really is that exciting, just not necessarily in every moment. Because I guarantee if you put in the sufficient effort and if you’re not afraid to strike and strike hard you will always come out with a better story than you had before. That’s the point of editing—to take your baby and raise it into something awesome.


I’m going to start with the obvious parts. You’re going to have typos in this new baby you just birthed and a good edit will get rid of them. For those of you who already know these parts, I congratulate you. Bear with me as we remind everyone else of the basics. The basics are important.

1. Spell Check. It requires almost no effort on your end and yet it saves you hours of what people back in the day before word processors would agonize over. Hopefully you’ve had it turned on and fixed most of those red underlines as you went along. But you may have missed some. So first off why don’t you go spell check that newly crafted novel of yours so all the obvious mistakes get out of the way. Go on, get!

2. Grammar Check. This one doesn’t always work, but it certainly can help sometimes and is worth a look at least once. I’ve especially found it helpful in figuring out lay, laid, lie, lying, lain. It may catch other things like double words such as this this kind of mistake. This is easy stuff you can do without much thought, so make sure it gets done.

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