To grow as an editor, one must read. Just like writers must read. Besides reading inside and outside of my genre, I read editing improvement books. The one I will share with you this week is 25 Self-Editing Tips for Indie Authors. The book was written by JM Porup and Derek Murphy.
I will skip their first tip, which is about reading the book. So let’s get to Self-Editing Tip #2.
Self-Editing Tip #2.
Like many editors will tell you, you must have a hook. Something to catch the reader’s attention. If you don’t have that hook, the reader will keep the book. They will return the book or toss it aside.
But, my two cents. It is not only in the first chapter you must have a hook. But every chapter. You must keep the reader hooked. You don’t want them to wiggle out and swim away.
Self-Editing Tip #3
If you are a Pantser or a Plotter, the one thing you should know is who your protagonist is. This person must be relatable to your readers. The protagonist should be flawed. Remember, no one is perfect.
Self-Editing Tip #4
What does the protagonist want or need? Is there anything stopping the protagonist? According to the book, “Give us a sympathetic hero with a goal we can relate to, and the strength of will to pursue that goal at all costs, and you’ve got the makings of a great story.”
Self-Editing tip #5
Like the protagonist, you must know who your antagonist is. The villain is not perfect. The antagonist may have traits that make you like the person, but there is a reason the person is the antagonist. And who knows, the protagonist and the antagonist could be the same person. Look at Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Self-Editing Tip #6
Structure is something you are going to hear a lot of. All stories have a beginning, middle, and end. First Act, Second Act, and Third Act. And if you read Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, then you know the structure of a book can be narrowed down into fifteen beats.
Other tips in the book discuss suspense, chapter breaks, pov, dialogue, and that is only a few.
Not only are you given 25 Tips for Self-Editing. The book gives you eight mistakes to avoid. Ranging from conflict to emotions to adverbs.
This book is a great tool for beginners and seasoned writers. It doesn’t go into deep details but highlights everything you need to know when you write your book, not just to self-edit it.