The Writing Process: Editing

By: Jannelle

Editing

Ah you’re almost done, and for someone who is not looking to publish this is in fact your finale step. This is the kind of editing where you look at grammar and spelling, word choice and really craft your work into a finely sculpted piece of artwork. In this post I will go over some tips and tricks that will get your work over the finish line.

Editing Tips!

First off, read it out loud! This will help you spot more errors than just reading it in your head. If it doesn’t sound right now is the time to make it sound better.

Another thing I have found that helps me is to print off your manuscript and go over it with a good old-fashioned trusty red pen. Not only does this feel amazing to see all of your hard work printed out, it gives you a tangible copy to fix.

At first it can be saddening to have to mark up those pages, especially after you have worked so hard, but I find a sense of accomplishment in transforming a black and white page with red ink. Not to mention that once you have your comments and corrections all written out you will then have to go and type them up, which is an added step to make sure your haven’t missed anything.

Even though you will most likely miss things, and catch new things to tweak or fix with every pass over you do; there is a saying about how every author, once having their book publish and printed and laid out complete will no doubt find an error almost immediately.

So let’s go over some tools you have at your disposal to help in the editing process and limit those errors from making it onto the finale draft.

Online Tools

There are some online tools as well that can help you in editing your work. I’m sure there’s a good chance you have heard a ad from Grammerly or other similar service. Look around and do your research to find the tools that help you get to your goals.

In the modern world we live in, technology is rapidly improving and expanding the way we work and write, and even edit.

I tend to use google docs when I draft and revise my work, with separate iterations for each of these stages, but I can see where that could be confusing for others. It’s just what I have found works best for me at this point.

If you have any suggestions that you use in your writing process, feel free to leave a comment below. I’m always looking for helpful tips on improving my work.

Professional Editing

If you’re more serious about publishing consider using a professional editor or get in touch with a traditional publisher that will hook you up with an editor. Keep in mind that there are different types of editing and editors like

Types of Editing

  • Line Editing
  • Copy Editing
  • Proofreading
  • etc.

Types of Editors

  • Managing Editor
  • Section Editor
  • Copyeditor
  • Line Editor
  • Junior level/ Mid level/ Senior level Editor
  • etc.

Just to name a few, in a future post I will go more in depth into these. Make sure to do your research as you do not want to end up spending money thinking you’re going to get one type of editing service or editor, only to find out that in fact the editing you paid for only covers a portion of what you are expecting it too.

Beta Readers

Enlist the help of some trusted beta readers to go over it all with you as you edit. Getting the right kind of constructive feedback at this point is so vitally important and helpful if you plan on going forward into the publishing stage.

The beta reader process deserves a series all of its own. From finding the right kinds of readers to handling communication pitfalls this can be a complex, and for many writers new, terrain to learn to navigate.

In Conclusion

It’s important to note that many writers go through the revising and editing phases multiple times, For many it is hard to tell when your work is ever done, and it many never be done in your head.

As you take in all this advice, remember to take a moment to sit back from the screen you’re working on and consider how far you have come as a writer. Your book is all but finished at this point! You can see the end in sight, hold on to that.

Next week I will have a post up covering the publishing process in a broad overview before we diver further into each of the aspects I have covered up to this point.

Including but certainly not limited too, putting out an entire series on beta readers and writing groups, as well as different timelines for publishing whether you are considering self-publishing or traditional publishing. There is just so much to talk about getting the right beta readers, editor, and publisher/publishing on your own is a whole different breed.

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