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How to Self-Edit Your Manuscript Like a Pro

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The ability to self-edit is a skill that needs to be in every author's tool belt.

But why should you self-edit? Just send your manuscript to a freelance editor instead! Well, it’s a foolish use of your resources to get professional editors to correct simple errors you could have caught on your own. Instead, let them focus on the substance of your book — where they can make an impact by fixing your plot holes, flesh out compelling characters, and better tell your story.

Lisa Lepki of ProWritingAid is here to help you spot (and fix) the ten most common writing mistakes. These mistakes won't just make you seem like an amateur — they will also hinder your chances of landing an agent or securing a publisher.

All set? Get those red pens or erasers ready!

What you’ll learn in this course:

  • How to give your manuscript a technical edit, covering issues like sticky sentences, excessive pronouns, and overused words.
  • How to enhance your book with stylistic edits. This includes removing overly complicated vocabulary and writing with strong verbs instead of using weak adverbs as props.

Brought to you by: Lisa Lepki

Lisa Lepki is the editor of the ProWritingAid blog and Head of Marketing for ProWritingAid. Though she has over 15 years' experience in writing and marketing, she secretly loves the technical elements of writing more than the writing itself. Lisa is the co-author of The Novel-Writing Training PlanCreating Legends and 20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers, and is currently working on her first novel. 

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Great course! I am reviewing and rethinking my writing as a direct result, including writing this review! Hand-holding is minimal - expect to research further and work your brain. Results are more than worthwhile.

Just joined this course and am looking forward to starting it tomorrow morning.

Many years ago I worked in a Film Documentary unit. At one stage I was editing film. We were lucky enough to have a schedule that allowed us to do a cut of the program, then put it aside for a couple of weeks while we worked on another program. When we got back to it, we saw it with fresh eyes, and were able to re-edit, clarifying and tightening the visuals into a concise and stronger experience. Now I am writing novels, I try to use the same approach. My experience in writing dialogue for film also helps in… Read more »

I find active voice very difficult. I've had a very successful career following the axiom: When writing, remain sufficiently vague. Allow the reader to draw their own conclusions on a bare presentation of the facts. This has offered me greater success as it presents the idea without a specific direction. Thus forgoing any particular bias as to the source. Examples given for direct voice are. "Person X" through "research study Y", determined _________. If the reader has a bias against "person X" or "research study Y", they will never give any serious consideration to the idea itself. On the other… Read more »

Thanks for your intense support, writing for me before your guidance was a chaos and puzzle but now it is becoming a clear road map..I am bowed before your contribution to my writing...keep supporting bcz I need your guidance....thanks a lot........

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