4 Great Books on Self-Editing

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We are going to spend a few weeks talking about the trees inside the forest. The small parts that often feel tedious to the creative brain. But they are necessary. The rules you must understand before you go breaking them in the glorious exhibition of your style.
If you want your medicine to be a bit sweeter, join a critique group. The fellowship and encouragement you receive will make up for the toil and sweat you must go through. And what you learn in the process of editing others’ work will grow you toward your goal by leaps and bounds.
For starters, I am going to recommend several books I have found to be helpful.
  • Contains exercises
  • Applicable to both fiction and non-fiction
  • Covers 7 grammar points
  • Used throughout your manuscript
  • Short and fun
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
  • Contains exercises
  • Focused on fiction, but parts applicable to non-fiction as well
  • Focus on grammar, does include some on elements of story
  • Although applicable to entire manuscript, focuses on first few pages
  • From perspective of what an editor will see that may turn him off to your manuscript immediately
Self-Editing forFiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
  • Contains exercises
  • Focuses on fiction
  • Elements of your story, not just grammar points
  • Easy to read and understand
The First Fifty Pages by Jeff Gerke
  • No exercises
  • Focuses on fiction
  • Covers elements of story
  • Great examples from the movies
  • Easy to read and enjoyable
All writers need to build a library of reference books. You will go back to them again and again. Consider purchasing one of these books or look around and find a different one that will suit your needs better. Do you already have a collection? If so, what is your favorite book covering some aspect of self-editing?
Angela D. Meyer

Angela D. Meyer

Angela D. Meyer lives in NE with her husband and two children whom they homeschool - recently graduating their son. She has taught Bible class for over 35 years and is on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. She loves God, her family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.
Angela D. Meyer

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