Editing Checklist

Editing checklistBeta reading checklist

Download This Worksheet (PDF)

I designed this editing checklist to help you break down the steps of polishing your manuscript mess, or if you wish, to send to beta readers to give them some ideas of what to look out for.

It’s particularly helpful if you keep a running list of words / phrases that you frequently misuse, misspell or repeat, so that you can refer back to them each time you start the final edits of a manuscript.

Editing can be a long process… often it takes longer than writing!

But if you deal with problems one step at a time, you will make steady progress, and soon your story will be ready to share with the world.

Good luck!

Editing Checklist Items

Check for…

  1. Weak opening
  2. Weak ending
  3. Lack of story development
  4. Lack of character development
  5. Lack of world development
  6. Too much information
  7. Missing or insufficient information
  8. Pacing problems – too slow
  9. Pacing problems – too fast
  10. Illogical / unconvincing behaviour
  11. Lack of character motivation
  12. Confusing description of action
  13. Confusing description of thoughts / emotions
  14. Confusing description of setting
  15. Timeline errors / anachronisms
  16. World / setting errors
  17. Inconsistencies in character appearance
  18. Unresolved plot threads
  19. Unnecessary repetition of words or phrases
  20. Misspelt words or phrases
  21. Repetitive sentence length
  22. Repetitive sentence structure
  23. Unclear sentences / passages
  24. Inconsistencies in tense
  25. Ambiguous pronouns
  26. Inconsistencies in use of names and titles
  27. Ambiguous dialogue tags
  28. Inconsistencies in formatting dialogue
  29. Inconsistencies in formatting thoughts
  30. Inconsistencies in capitalisation
  31. Missing sections
  32. Inconsistencies in voice and tone
  33. Inconsistencies in settings
  34. Inconsistencies in point of view
  35. Awkward sentences
  36. Misused words
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Don’t forget to add your own errors as they occur in your manuscript.

P.S. You can use the dialogue worksheet for a more detailed audit of your characters’ conversations.

Editing Checklist for Writers & Beta Readers

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