The Do's and Don'ts of Editing
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Do’s and Don’ts of Editing: Powerful Self Publishing Tips for authors

Do’s and don’ts of editing

Writing is always followed by editing. Editing is the process where you check and correct the written matter to improve it. Once you complete your manuscript it’s not over even though you have good writing skills. Editing is a crucial step in book publishing no matter you are a budding writer or an established writer.

In traditional publishing, your manuscript goes in the hands of various editors appointed in the house. Once the contract is signed between the publishing house and the author, the publishing house takes the charge of editing the book by considering the writer’s views. While in self-publishing the author appoints the editor of their choice or can also prefer self-editing. Self-editing is something in which you can miss your own mistakes very easily because it seems difficult to find your own mistakes. Thus you need to consider some points while self-editing. Here are some do’s and don’ts of editing to help you out.

Do’s of editing

Keep it simple

Fancy and lengthy words to show vocabulary skills should be avoided. These words sometimes break the continuity of the reader while reading. Use simple but exact words.

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Check the position of similar words

It’s and its, their and there, brought and bought such words can impact on your quality of writing. Incorrect position of similar words drops down the graph of an impression on readers. Thus while self-editing makes sure they are correct.

Check spellings

The Do's and Don'ts of Editing

Spellings should be checked properly. It is obvious to miss some words in the write-up. An easier option is to run spelling check programs. A lot of spell check programs available online.

Limit the text

While writing you imagine and try to put it in words. While doing this you end up with lengthy text. To avoid this don’t explain everything about the situation. Keep the description that is needed and omit the rest while editing.


Remove double spacings between words. Pay attention to the spacings after commas.

Point of view

Try to stick to a single point of view while writing. The use of different points of view can be done if it is very necessary and when you are sure about the level of engagement of readers.

Less is more

Try not to use many adjectives. Choose one word and avoid explaining it as well. Remember less is more.

Font style

Avoid using two to three font styles in one paragraph. Maintain one font style to make it easy for the readers to get engaged in reading.


Punctuations are very important to convey the right thing to the readers. Checking and correcting the punctuations in the manuscript while editing is important. For example, ‘Let’s eat Andria.’ and ‘Let’s eat, Andria.’ has a big difference. Thus make sure you get the punctuations correct.  

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Don’ts of editing

Do not hurry

Once the writing is done, do not hurry to edit it. (Need a rest… isn’t it?) Give some time lag between the completion of writing and the beginning of self-editing. This is the time where you get detached from the write-up so that when you get back to it for editing you find it quite new. This helps to point out the mistakes more clearly.

Show, don’t tell

Keep the balance of the description in the manuscript. Try not to describe everything. Use the words that show movement. For example, ‘He punched the air’ indicates that he is angry. Similarly ‘She swirled.’ shows her joy.

Avoid redundancies

While writing we are in the flow of describing and conveying something. Thus we miss that some things are obvious and understandable by readers. For example, ‘Andria clapped with her hands.’

Here last three words can be omitted. ‘Andria clapped.’ crisply describes the same. Such words can be easily noticed in the manuscript while editing. Be alert.

Do not lose patience

While self-editing you might get many small changes. The key is not to lose patience, if you appoint an editor for editing he might suggest many things about words, spellings, the frame of sentences, and even about punctuations. Try to not get irritated by these corrections. Have patience and be calm for a good outcome.

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