Self-Editing

self edit image

Being able to self-edit is key to writing, but how do we do it?  Ellen Brock, a freelance editor has a great YouTube video on the subject, I recommend giving it a view.  If you like worksheets like me, I have provided the following helps to assist you in your self-editing process.  May the odds, or elements, be ever in your favor.

Self-Edit Checklist-think Big Picture then work to Small Details

  1. Character Arc  Character Arc Worksheet  Character Questionnaire
    1. What is the story you want to tell and are you telling it?
    2. How does your character change? What does he/she learn?
    3. Does the journey make sense, will it hold up?
  2. Story Structure
    1. Are you plot points in place?  Story Structure Worksheet
  3. Scenes
    1. Does each scene have the following elements? (Conflict, Goal, Outcome)
      1. Editing Proactive Scenes Worksheet
      2. Editing Reactive Scenes Worksheet
    2. “Kill your darlings” -if it doesn’t move your story forward…”Let it Go”
    3. Improve weak scenes (add more conflict/improve sentence structure)
  4. Line Edit-this may take a few passes and another set of eyes
    1. Double Check “Show v. Tell”
    2. Identify Crutch Words
    3. Check:  word choices, phrases, organization
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