Critique Your Own Work

Are you able to take a long honest look at your own writing? Practically speaking, it can be a challenge for a writer to be his or her own critic. However, being the editor or proofreader of your own manuscript is a useful skill to learn. As editors are being overextended, it is not uncommon for writers to take a larger role in finding ways to shape their own story. Despite whether you have the greatest self-editor of all time or no self-editor at all, if you plan on writing a book, being your own critic is an absolute must!

Take Hold of Your Inner Critic
To critique your own work when writing a book, you need to find a way to embrace your inner critic. Once you start a draft, it can often be hard to differentiate the process of writing and editing apart. When you go back to read the words on the page, you not only read the actual words, you relive the emotions you felt as you were writing. For this reason, you should make an effort to write the whole story before making an attempt to go back and edit it. A first draft can always be revised and improved the second time around. When critiquing your own work, you should not become discouraged by text that is imperfect, and should re-write sentences continually until they eventually work. As your story makes its progression, stow away any portion that you cut. These extras may come in handy if you plan to write more books in the future.

Take a Break
Another way to become a good critique of your own work is to give yourself a break. Once youve managed to create a first draft to your satisfaction, step away from your work for a reasonable amount of time. This will give your brain a chance to rejuvenate, and youll return to your manuscript with a fresh set of eyes for editing. Youll be surprised at the way your mind will re-process what youve written once its been refreshed.

Read Your Work Aloud
Reading your manuscript aloud can be highly effective as a critic of your own work. This technique can reveal missing words or run-on sentences that were overlooked while writing a book. It also allows you to see the characters in your mind and hear them speak. Hearing your story aloud provides you with a sense of the overall flow and voice of your book.

Be Aware of Common Problems
When you are your own critic, you should find any common problems and root them out, such as homophones and misspelled and repeated words. If words are multi-syllabic, try replacing them with words that are shorter and stronger. You should remove each and every word in the sentence one at a time and determine if the absence of that specific word has any significant impact on the sentence.

Adopting self-editing techniques to critique your own work when writing a book will ultimately strengthen your final piece. Every useful edit will continuously drive your story forward. In the end, holding the readers interest until the end of the story is the most important goal to achieve; and you have a better chance of accomplishing this if your book is well-edited and easy to read.


About the Author:
Tanisha Williams is the author of two non-profit e-books 501c3 In 12-Steps and Simple Internal Controls That Protect Your Assets. Her desire for more interaction with readers was the key inspiration behind the development of her latest business venture ChatEbooks. ChatEbooks, launched in October 2014, harnesses the strengths of social media in order to help authors and their readers engage and connect within the context of the selling/reading experience.
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