Self-Editing Your Novel – A Guide by Liminal Pages

Sophie Playle

If you’re a writer with a completed draft and you want to make sure you have a brilliant novel, this is for you. Whether you want to self-publish or submit to agents, self-editing your novel will help you make it the best it can be.

Why self-edit?

Get the most value from your editor

Self-editing is the first step in the process, but later down the line you might decide to invest in a professional edit. Keep in mind that if your editor is fiddling with simple fixes or grappling with bigger story-telling issues that you could have already addressed, you won’t get the most valuable feedback from them.

Save money

Why pay someone to fix what you can fix yourself? The more time your editor will have to spend on your manuscript, the more expensive the process will be.

Improve your writing skills

Writing is your passion, so you want to improve your craft, right? Not only will you learn a lot from the process of editing itself, but if your manuscript is in the best possible shape before you hand it over to your editor, the feedback you’ll receive will help you discover further ways to improve your writing – from the next book onwards!


Sophie Playleis a professional fiction editor. She specialises in developmental editing, critiquing and copy-editing, and loves working with authors and publishers who are passionate about high-quality storytelling. Speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction and literary fiction are her genres of choice. She's an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and has a Creative Writing MA from Royal Holloway, University of London. Find out more:

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Insights into the world of fiction, from the desk of an editor

Editorial considerations, creative revelations and the occasional existential lamentation – sharing my experiences and personal recommendations exclusively with you.