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Writing a manuscript is just half the battle. It is also important to edit it thoroughly – you can do that by following our simple tips.

How to Self-Edit Your Manuscript

The end. 

You have successfully accomplished your manuscript. But the reality is that it’s just the beginning.


Before you send your work out, you will want to proofread and edit it to eliminate all mistakes and polish it up.

While editing your piece of writing might seem challenging and time-consuming to manage, you can actually edit it by yourself. In this article, we have listed some of the best recommendations for editing your manuscript without a professional editor. Let’s take a look at each step by step.

Take a Step Back

That’s right. Before you get your hands on editing your manuscript, make sure to take a break. Give yourself and your paper some time to settle. This will let your mind reload and refresh before the editing job. There’s no need to switch to it immediately after you put the last period at the end of the text. Have a break. Workout, go on a date, read a book, watch The Undoing, or do anything else that will let your mind relax.

When you get back to work, you will be able to see your manuscript with fresh eyes. It’s no doubt, you will feel more focused and be able to detect every other mistake.

Read Your Manuscript Out Loud

After taking a break, get back to your work and read it out loud. Believe it or not, but you will find loads of mistakes that, you swear, you haven’t seen before! Typos, awkward phrasing, punctuation errors, and lack of transition phrases – by simply speaking something you will catch and fix it all.

Reading your manuscript out loud doesn’t take much time, after all. Just have yourself a cup of cappuccino, take a pen, and enjoy the process!

Check the Story

Sharing your manuscript with someone can be quite scary. You’re not ready to hear what they are going to say. Besides, you’re worried about getting negative feedback that may demotivate you to keep on writing your story. If that’s what you’re afraid of when it comes to manuscripts, we’re here to tell you that there is no need to share your work with anyone else. Instead, make sure to re-read, revise, and improve yourself. In other words, you have to do your best to make sure the piece of writing is as good as you can make it before your professor or editor sees it.

One of the key elements of your manuscript that require thorough editing is an actual story. The process is called a structural or developmental edit. Below, we give you the key questions that you have to ask yourself when you edit your story for the plot, characters, and settings.


When you perform a plot edit, you have to take a look at your work from a high-level perspective and fix every weak section. Check the structure of your story to see if it makes sense. Are the scenes tense enough? Are there any holes in your plot? Have you placed the key scenes in the most suitable places throughout your story?


To edit your manuscript, you have to consider your characters adequately and objectively. What are their goals? Do they change along with the story? How often do your characters appear? What are the obstacles that get in the way of the life's journey of the main characters? Your characters are the ones who drive the tension of your story. That is why you need to make sure your story contains enough tension needed to keep your readers engaged.


Finally, check the settings in your story. How often do you happen to use the same settings throughout the story? Do you make the most of them? Do your settings add any tension to the plot? Settings are the tools that you use in order to hook your reader’s attention. That is why you have to make sure your settings are flawless.

Use Techs

Editing apps like Grammarly or Hemingway are there to help you when it comes to the editing procedure. Of course, nothing can replace a good old human editor. However, tech editors will help you polish up your piece before you submit it. While the experts of manuscript editing services can focus on the core of your story, online editing apps will help you fix your punctuation and word choice issues.

In other words, editing tools can’t do the editing job for you. However, they can highlight problematic areas in your writing, such as overused words, passive voice, and so on. You’re the one to fix those issues based on your own judgment.

As you can see, editing your manuscript is an indispensable part of the writing process. What is more, it might be even more important than writing your piece. That is mainly because editing is not only about highlighting every other error that you make. It’s actually about producing a high-quality work that your readers will be excited to read and re-read. And even if you can’t boast of working with a professional editor, there is no need to worry – you can edit your text by taking the simple steps given above. Happy editing!


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