I just finished self-editing my book before I sent it off to an editor. And, of course, as soon as I emailed it off, I’m thinking I should have gone through and edited it one more time using Stacy Juba’s tips.

What about you? Do you self-edit? Do you need help with self-editing? Stacy Juba is an author and an editor. She has a helpful website and a free editing class at https://www.shortcutsforwriters.com/ Check it out.

She’s also written a book on self-editing, Book Editing Blueprint: The simple path to editing and transforming your novel – one step at a time.


Here are some of her tips to follow.

1. Search for these overused words: look, eyes, walk, stand, stood, gaze. For each use, evaluate whether you want to cut it, change it, or keep it.

2. Check for clichés, like eyes as big as saucers or hit like a ton of bricks and try to make a twist on them.

3. Cut down on -ly adverbs such as quickly, quietly, slowly, completely, angrily.

4. Are you telling an emotion rather than showing it?

5. Check for vague words: some, that, very, as, just. Cut down on them.

6. Remove excess prepositions. (words like above, at, by, down, for, in, inside, of, to, up, with.)

7. Look for too many sentences in a row starting with The, A, or An and vary the sentence structure

8. Run spell checks to clean up basic typos, misspellings, and punctuation errors.

These come from www.shortcutsforwriters.com Featuring the online course: Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan To Making Your Novels Publishable stacy@stacyjuba.com Line Editing Made Simple Cheat Sheet.