Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Editing

Editing is necessary but not a favorite activity for most authors.  Even though we all know how important it is to have a well edited, professional manuscript to present to agents, publishers or to self-publish.

I know the more I edit my own work the less I find wrong and the less objective I am.  It is hard to step away from your work and see it with fresh eyes and notice where there are holes in the story, especially since it is a story you created.

Taking a break from the story and working on something else or nothing at all is helpful.  I also find reading aloud allows me to pick up mistakes I did not catch upon reading.

There are editors available for hire and until recently I did not know that there were different types of editors.

I always thought of editing as line editing or copy editing.  This editing is when you look for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax.  You are also editing for a consistent style, voice and format; overall clarity for the reader and cross checking facts and references.

There are also developmental editors who can help with your whole concept and research and re-writing.
Unless you do not have a complete concept or need a lot of hand holding this is probably not an editing service many people will be using.

If you feel you need a little more help with your editing than a line edit the substantive editing or content editing may be what you need.  This form of editing will identify and solve problems, help with overall clarity and accuracy.  This editor can help with reorganizing paragraphs, sections of chapters and improving the order in which the story is presented.  They will work to make sure your story has the best flow and readability.

There last editor that you would use before publication will be a proof reading editor.  This persons job is to check the final copy for typesetting, specifications, formatting and typographical errors.

I am on my third edit.  During the first one I found all the point of view (pov) changes that I made willy-nilly, on the second edit I found most of the tense mistakes I made, it appears I like them twice as much as pov changes.

During this edit I am working to make the dialogue more individual and true to the character and catching all the rest of the tense changes.  Of course, since I am about to submit my baby to editors and agents I am looking at it with a lot more criticism and self-doubt so I am trying to make the writing better, more intelligent, more showing less telling, all the stuff I wish had just magically happened on the first draft.

Please wish me luck with this final pass, because as I mentioned before I am getting weary of reading my own words.  I may be missing out on some objectivity and desire.

Happy editing.


  1. I knew I'd find Editing just about everywhere today. Writers have the same ideas and the same concerns. Welcome to the Challenge this year. Minion checking in!

    1. Thanks for visiting. I love your website. So neat with the books as portals to your books and blogs.

  2. Adorable putting "happy" and "editing" in the same sentence! Seriously, it is both arduous and necessary. I'm glad to read your story and methods today. May you get through this time through your words with a smile on your face... at least eventual.

    Happy A to Zing!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    A to Z Challenge Participant/2011,12,13,14.....
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

    1. Thanks for visiting. I love your site and doubt I would have randomly picked it form the A to Z blog list.

      I hesitated when I wrote that but I do find that if I have the right attitude when editing I am happy-ish about it. I hope that others will find that to be true for themselves as well. It is progress and that is always good.

  3. I'm one of those weirdos who often enjoys editing. Maybe it's genetic, since that was my father's profession! Still, I do reach a point where I am sick of my own words, but can feel that there are still clunky phrases and what I call "lumps under the carpet." To me, that is when I *must* step away and flood my brain with another project. Otherwise, I panic and feel like throwing the whole project away!

    ~Tui Snider~
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider's Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!

    1. Tui, I love the phrase "lumps under the carpet" that is great. I have to walk away when I can but the times I can't I find reading aloud is helpful or having others read it to me. Good for you that you love editing. I think those of us who are not good at it find it hard. You are lucky to have the skill set.

  4. I have discovered I don't like editing but it is a necessary evil. Good luck with publishing your book. Hope all goes well for you!

    Visiting from

    1. Morgan, Thanks for visiting again. Even if publishing doesn't work out I have gained so much personal knowledge and happiness from the process of writing that I am complete now.