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Writing Books/editing your own work


My question is in regards to editing your own work before sending it to a publishers. I was just wondering what is the best way to do this without becoming overzealous and doing more harm to the plot then good. Is there any hard and fast rules to good editing of your work?

Thanking you in advance

Hi Naomi!

CONGRATULATIONS on your writing!  That's HUGE!  CONGRATULATIONS over and over again!

1 Option - To answer your question, I encourage you to try signing up for a professional writer's critique group.  Novel-L is one that is good online that I know of. Some groups meet at local bookstores.  You can check with booksellers to see if they have a calendar of writer group meetings.  Listen to feedback and incorporate changes YOU want to make that you receive from the feedback in your work.  Feedback is effective because it's rounded and comes from more than one person (you).

2 Option - Reading your writing out loud is another effective way to spot areas that you want to strengthen.  

3 Option - If you are looking to strengthen your editing skills to help with self-editing your work, consider taking an English or editing course at a local college.  

4 Option - Consider editing other writers' work.  As you spot areas to strengthen in another writer's work, you will notice ways to improve and better edit your own writings.

In closing, Naomi, I want to communicate the immeasurable value in whatever you write.  It's self-expression and is good regardless of how it's written.  If you "FEEL" that you are over-editing, stop.  Step away from the work for awhile.  I encourage you to always appreciate what you write or express.  This may free you up to deepen your writing if that's something you are looking to do.

As a footnote, editors tend to make changes to books regardless of how much work you put in.

All the best, Naomi!


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Rhonda Campbell


I can answer questions on how to get published in magazines and newspapers; how to market your own books; how to earn a living writing; how to write press releases; how to find a good editor; how to edit your own books; finding a good printer; finding a good book illustrator; doing your taxes as a freelance writer. Questions I can't answer include specifics around working with a print on demand publisher


I have 36 years of experience as a writer (fiction and non-fiction). I am a book reviewer with Nielsen Media. I am a newspaper columnist and a reporter. I am a former radio station host and I am the editor of a literary newsletter, The Book Lover's Haven. I am also the author of more than 10 books.

Writer's Critique Group

The Trenton Times Philadelphia Trend Sisters in Style Essence Magazine The Pittsburgh Quarterly Obsidian II, etc.

I have taken numerous writing courses on book, proposal and grant writing as well as marketing and promotion

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