Self-Edit a Nonfiction Story

Now that you’ve written a nonfiction story and added all the things you wanted to write about, it’s time to self-edit your work so that you can submit for publication. Most of us can’t afford to hire an editor, so it is crucial to learn how to edit your own work. Just follow these steps and soon you can submit your work to magazines, agents and publishers.

Correct any grammar problems or spelling errors not only by a word processing program, but also by reading it line-by-line since word processors often miss words which are spelled correctly but used incorrectly. Check for any sentence structure problems such as fragments or run-ons and correct them. Look for any unnecessary or overused words or phrases and remove them.

A good technique to help you self-edit your work, is reading it out loud to hear any problem areas. If you pause or stumble while reading that usually signals that there’s something wrong. You might be surprised at how many problems you find doing this and it’s great way to polish your work.

Check and re-check your research information. If there is anything you’ve not certain of or unable to verify then remove it.

It takes time and patience to self-edit your work, so don’t rush through it.
Self-editing takes discipline, but it can make difference between having your and your work taken seriously about editors and publishers.

Don’t fall into the trap of falling in love with your writing. This is often something that separates the professional writers from the hobbyists, since pros understand what it means to edit their writing, while hobbyists tend to think that everything they write is fine as is. If you want to get published then learn to look at your work honestly so that you can find any problems and fix them. You will improve as a writer and increase your chances of having your work published.

 

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