Self-publishing HandbookIn this second step of self-editing you look at a smaller scale, directly at the language level. The questions below are only a beginning. Depending on your story, there might also be other issues you should pay special attention to.

General narrative issues 

  • Do you switch between showing and telling mode appropriately?
  • Are you true to the point of view from which you are writing?
  • Are beginnings, endings and transitions between scenes appropriate and clear?


  • Have you cut too long sentences into two?
  • Are your sentences clear?
  • Have you replaced weak verbs with stronger ones?
  • Have you replaced passive structures with active ones wherever possible?
  • Have you replaced cliché phrases and metaphors?
  • Have you cut all unnecessary adverbs and other superfluous words?

At this stage it is a very good idea to read your manuscript out loud. When you hear your text spoken, it is easier to spot unclear sentences, awkward phrasing and other issues.