How to edit your own story

Drawing of an owl illustrating an article about How to edit your own storyIn an ideal world all writers would be able to afford the best of editors.

But, we are not in an ideal world.

In these recessionary times it is writers and artists who tend to feel the bite in their income.

Good editors can be expensive – sadly, so can bad ones.

If you are wondering exactly what a good editor can do read this.

But, if you have made the decision to try self-publishing and you simply cannot afford an editing service – what can you do?

I think you should do the best you can with whatever resources you have.

However, no matter how tiny your budget is I think you should prioritize editing.

There are people who will perform editing work for you quite cheaply.


Cheaper editors may be gaining experience by charging less.

Their work will not be of the highest professional standard yet.

But, they can provide a fresh eye to look over your work and therefore they will see errors that you miss.

Remember, that as writers we can be too close to get a clear view.

It is amazing how easy it is to miss glaring errors in our own work!

This is important.

You don’t want your readers posting snide remarks about your spelling ability in your reviews.


If you have no budget at all for editing then you need to call on a friend.

Don’t forget to return a favour – you will wear out friends very quickly if you use them.

You could babysit, walk their dog, spring clean their cupboards, or if you have writer friends you can swap manuscripts.

Before you ask your friend – use your spell checker and check through your work at least three times after that.

One great tip is to change the font you were using when you were writing the story and increase the size.

This changes your perspective on the work and helps you see those typos you missed.

Then give it to your friend and after they are finished, read it carefully – right the way through and assess each suggestion.

Don’t throw out suggestions without at least sleeping on them – one of the mistakes beginner writers make is to think every word is precious.


The last thing you can do is to read your work aloud.

It takes time but believe me you will always, always, find a typo or three, hiding in the small print.

Don’t forget if you don’t find those typos there will be plenty of readers out there who will!

Best of luck!


P.S. All the creative writing tips and information are provided here free for you. All I ask is that you leave a comment in the box and like, or share so that others may learn too.

To read more about the importance of editing click here.

For some really useful creative writing exercises click here.






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