4 Types of Editing before Publishing your Novel

When finishing your manuscript, there are a series of steps needed before you see your beloved stories in your favorite online store and even before reaching out for an agent if your considering the traditional publishing route. Never is it wise to try publishing your work without proper editing from outside sources. This is especially true if your a new author. So I shall introduce to you 4 essential types of editing needed before moving on to the printers.

Developmental Edit

developmental editing is the first course of action toward fixing plot holes and structure in your manuscript. The editor will address all issues concerning characters, actions, pacing, repetitive trends that may not be intentional. This is also considered the most expensive out of the four editing types I’m sharing with you today.

You can consider this a professionals take on beta reading with more constructive depth. Some authors can go without a Developmental Edit, but I only recommend you go without if you feel confident and have a number of books under your belt. In short this is a great way to get feedback on some things you might of missed. You would defiantly want to do this first before any other edit.

If your interested in learning the trade, Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers is a good resource to get you started.

Line Edit

Also known as stylistic editing, The line edit combs through each line to integrate out-liars in your prose. Making your writing more consistent in craft and style. This can crank the readability and clarity on your manuscript up to eleven.

Have your ever read a piece of work, only for it to take you out of the atmosphere that the scene is trying to portray? A line edit can help with that! Making the readers experience as smooth as possible. Not having this done to your work can make or break the story. Consider using this method after making changes to your developmental edit.

So use this edit to eliminate the possibilities of poor execution. The Elements of Style, 4th (forth) edition is a great source for learning style in writing.

Copy Edit

Copy editing, in short, finds all the grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes the author missed in the course of writing a story. Chicago Manual of Style is the most popular set of rules used in most novels today, and most copy editors refer to this when finding mistakes. Having this edit done will be the difference between your title coming off as amateur, or one that shines professionally. Only consider this when you feel your writing style is integrated consistently through your book. At this point of editing, you shouldn’t be going back and changing the plot.

If you want to study copy editing for yourself, The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications is a great choice.

Proof read

The Proof Read is the last line of defense against errors before it hits the printers. This not only checks for punctuation and grammar errors like the copy edit, But also searches for bad formatting like naughty page breaks, inconsistent page numbering and any layout issues you might have missed. This includes your table of contents, publishers page and copywrite information.

By the time you get to this stage, you should have a Proof copy of your Novel handy. compiling everything you want in your book to be checked over one last time.

For proofreading help, you can read McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, following this course of editing will fare well for your novel. Making it better then some thought possible. You do have to sink some funds into this phase of your writing, but a necessary evil if you want to be taken seriously as a professional author. Hope you all finish up those chapters and Shine On!

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