Submit your fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short stories, novels and more for individualized developmental, line, copy editing, editorial assessment and more at Reedsy.com, where hundreds of experienced, awarded writers and editors are ready to read your work and help you make it the best it can be.
What to Look for in an Editor and the Editing Process
Working with a professional editor can be one of the most rewarding experiences in an author’s life. You’ll probably learn more about the craft of writing — plot, characterization, dialogue, worldbuilding… — than if you took a creative writing course. However, as is always the case in creative endeavours, critique can be hard to accept. This is why you should seek an editor who’s not only experienced in their field, but from whom you’d feel comfortable receiving feedback. (Reedsy.com)
Everyone uses different definitions for different types of editing. Make sure you know what kind of editing you need:
- An Editorial Assessment is a valuable first overview of your manuscript by a professional editor. Your editor will read through the entire manuscript and provide thoughtful, in-depth feedback concerning elements such as plot, characterization, structure, consistency and style. Feedback from an editorial assessment can lead to significant changes to your manuscript. The assessment will identify your book’s strengths and weaknesses, and help you devise a revision strategy that dramatically improves the execution of your idea.
- Developmental Editing is a thorough and in-depth edit of your entire manuscript. It is an examination of all the elements of your writing, from single words and the phrasing of individual sentences, to overall structure and style. It can address plot holes or gaps, problematic characterization and all other existing material.
- Copy Editing focuses on the mechanics of language: editing your work’s text, otherwise known as “copy.” Fiction or non-fiction, academic or populist, thriller or sci-fi, copy editors help create the most readable version of your work, making sure your manuscript isn’t riddled with bad grammar, spelling mistakes, or glaring inconsistencies. Copy editors won’t enter into big-picture issues such as characterization, plot or pacing; instead they will go through the manuscript line by line and focus on all the little things you might not have considered. They’ll catch scenes in which your antagonist is wearing sunglasses and spectacles at the same time. They’ll save your tone and style from unintentional and wild shifts between sections. They’ll pull your book together page by page.
- Proofreading is the final step in the editing process. It’s the ultimate polish on your final files before they go to the printer or digital press. Ensuring that your text has no tiny errors in spelling or punctuation brings your writing to a level of professionalism required in the competitive publishing world. Many authors even hire more than one proofreader, double checking that absolutely no mistakes get through and adding an extra level of reassurance for the author.
- A Query Letter Review analyses the strengths and weaknesses in your agent query proposals. An editor will go through your letter and the first pages of your manuscript and offer advice on how to make them more appealing to agent.