How to Self-Edit Your Novel

40 thoughts on “How to Self-Edit Your Novel

  1. Is it okay to write a book about a killer, living Red Sharpie? I think that would leave a mark on people!!!!


  3. I can't tell if I've started editing or not yet (it certainly feels like it, as I've been doing plenty of adding scenes, removing scenes, editing parts of scenes…), but if I have, I'm not finding the editing process to be bad at all. Difficult and scary, maybe, as this is pretty much the part where I take the unfocused blob of story and point it in a direction that will hopefully make it super important and poignant and all that other awesome pretentious stuff, but I certainly wouldn't call it painful.


  4. it would be great to see a video or get information on exactly what magic the "professional editor" does. If the the pro editor is so great, then surely they would be great writers themselves, and not editors? i realize i might be making no sense at all with my comment 🙂

  5. First I would like to say that these videos help me as a writer. A lot. Second, I know what’s it’s like to have to rewrite parts of your story. The first time was because I realized that werewolves (which had a crucial role in the plot) broke my magic system because they can make others have their powers. Fortunately I’ve fixed it now and my novel will be more interesting because of it. The second time was because a friend of mine pointed out to me my main character was acting out of character for a few chapters.

  6. Editing sound like a dry mechanical thing at first. However I see how you can make that fun, once you explain it. You use a broader definition than I do. I limit editing to fixing spelling and grammar mistakes. This involves the CUPS acronym. This stands for capitalization, word usage, punctuation and spelling. I make a distinction for revising. That is changing the content of a writing piece. It deals with storytelling problems and with wording in sentences. Editing is dry. thank goodness for spellcheck in Word. However revision is fun. I like to reimagine the story in a better way. My current fantasy epic is a heavily revised version of something I started in middle school. Over the years, the differences are so different, it nearly unrecognizable. Your idea of editing covers both kinds of changes. It is more efficient to go from large scale revisions to small scale edits. That way one doesn't waste time editing something that will later get thrown away in revision. I was surprised when you mentioned one should take a break. Then you explained that by breaking you mean switching projects. I like to do this too. It helps keep burnout at bay. You give me new ideas of stuff to do. Without your explanation, I would have said, "But Jenna! You said to shut up and write the book."

  7. You're hilarious and this video was super helpful. I'm glad I'm not the only one who also who edits as I go…!

  8. Personally I love editing. I'm a great speller and great grammarist already, so it just comes natural to me when I edit. What I don't like is Dialogue, because Dialogue, for it to be natural-looking, isn't grammatically correct. I hate slang for that reason. And most of all, I hate hate hate hate accents or what is known as ghetto talk. Makes me want to exterminate the Human Race!!! Seriously, if they gave me a Death Star and asked me if I'd like to test fire this on the Earth, I'd do it without hesitation!

    Fucking Talk Right, or STAY FUCKING SILENT! This means YOU!

  9. I start with… let's see I don't have weird things written… sometimes I don't know what happens there but weird non existing words pop out of no where. So sad, so true XD

  10. “If you don’t like it, I don’t give a shit.” What motivation. And I am also a fuck it-writer lol I think I thought i was obsessive about it and now I’m pretty sure i just need it

  11. My writing is like:
    Writing by hand in a notebook
    And i never edit as i go. I just slap words on paper and wish my future self, who is going to edit it, good luck.

  12. "call me a masochist, but I love editing"
    Me: "call me an alien nerd, but I love math"

    seriously. I do.
    it's my favorite subject.

  13. i got through half the video before i realised im actually here. im at the editting phase. it keeps hitting me like a truck that im ACTUALLY writing a book. holy shit

  14. I hate editing so much right now because I'm editing the first chapters… Chapters I wrote when I was 14… I'm 16 now…

  15. Oh Hiiii from NZ – Ok thought you'd just like to know that your lovely vid and your lovely spunky attitude has been the very first youtube vid I discovered about editing.

    I'm a "Pantser' writer I've been told – write by the seat of my pants…. This method has got me three picture books and TWO novels for YA collecting dust for over 5 years! ( MY POOR BABIES!!) all because I was too put off by the editing process and all the jargon it comes with.

    THANK YOU! I love your process and I know i'll be a Fuck It Pantser writer who also colour codes everything ( you should see my medical text books i'm studying during 'working' hours)

    Keep being glorious Jenna – and thanks for setting me in the right direction!

    Tally- ho

  16. I'm trying to edit my novel but I can't seem to find anything to add and just end up reading it. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it!

  17. Ned Vazzini author of its kind of a funny story didn't give a shit about the way he worded his dialogues or his narrations. but I loved it all the same. it's perspective anyways. you don't expect a ten year old to narrate like an eighty year old

  18. I’m the kind of editor that edits chapters straight after I write them and then move onto writing the next chapter and then edit that. Wash, rinse, repeat. So far, it’s working pretty well for me

  19. Put your document on a program that will read it to you and follow along. You’ll hear what doesn’t sound right:)

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