Levels of Editing

DSCF0054There are different kinds of editing depending on what work you want to do on your writing.

The first level is Content Editing which is what I do. In content editing the focus is on the broad arc of the story. Do the characters stay consistent? Are there problems with the plot? What issues rise out of different parts of the writing? Is the order in which you tell your story the most effective? Is the voice of the narration consistent through the book? I take a book that you’ve finished the rough draft and an initial pass and read it carefully making notes in the margins. I use track changes so you can see where each note goes.

I see my job as helping you see your story better. You have a brilliant concept, but everyone can use a second set of eyes to help bring it out to its best advantage. I’m available to discuss my suggestions and to take a second look at the book.

I will not re-write your book. I won’t fix the problems I see or insist that you fix them in the manner that I suggest. It is your work. You may not agree with me, or you may decide that there is a better way to tackle the issue. I provide commentary and advice.

The next level of editing is line editing. This is where the editor looks at your sentences and paragraphs. Are they structured correctly? Is there variety. Does the writing do the work it need to do? If the content edit is about the story, this level is about the prose.

Often lumped in with line editing is copy editing, but it is more about the language arts: proper sentence structure, communication skills, language and punctuation. Is the writer getting their point across? Or are the words getting in the way?

The third level of editing is  proofreading. Here the editor goes through the book word by word looking for spelling and grammatical errors. They may also look at formatting oddities if you ask them to. They are unlikely to point out the higher level issues since their focus is the words and sentences. I don’t do copy editing. I have a great guy who does my copy editing for my writing.

If you want to hire an editor, you must be sure you know what kind of editing they offer and if it is the kind of editing you need at this point in your book’s life.

What I offer is foundational content editing. You send me a copy of your book, preferably in .doc format and I will read through make general comments about the book chapter by chapter on the first pass. After revision I look line by line and work on technical aspects to support the strengthening of plot, character and tone. My goal is for you to have a polished book in your own voice.

Contact me at celticfrog(at)live.com for more information.