I saw an article in Writers Digest this week titled Understanding The Types Of Editing. Well my first thought was, What do they mean types? Editing is when somebody goes into your manuscript and tears it apart, correcting all the grammatical and structural errors, right?
Well that is true, but it’s only one type of editing, and there are three different types listed in the article. The article also noted that a novel length manuscript needed to go through all three types before it was submission ready.
Developmental Edit – better known as the content editing, story editing, structural editing or substantive editing. This edit looks at the big picture of your novel and focuses on
- character arcs/development
- story structure
- pot holes or inconsistencies
- strong beginning, middle and end
- clear transitions
- point of view
- showing vs. telling
Copy Edit – copy editing is the one most of us think of when we hear editor. He comes on the scene after the developmental editor and cleans things up. He is the one who does the line by line with a focus on
- redundant words
- inconsistencies/continuity errors
- awkward sentence structure
The proofread- I never thought of a proofreader as an editor, but in all reality he is. The proofreader checks your manuscript for lingering errors, missed commas, and typos. It may be tempting to skip this step or do it yourself. Keep in mind, you’ve read the book so many times you will be blind to many lingering errors. You need an unfamiliar eye.
I thought this was an interesting article. I’m not sure where you are in the writing process, but you do need to know the proper steps to take before submitting your work.
I didn’t have this information and submitted my work to several different agencies after I ‘edited’ it and had a few friends read through it. Needless to say I got nothing but rejections. I followed up on suggestions, and that’s when I realized just how bad the manuscript was. I couldn’t believe I sent such shoddy work to an agent. I was embarrassed and glad I hadn’t met them in person.
Hope this helped!