For the next several weeks, I want to talk about EDITING. While it is quite common to feel that ‘your Editor’ will fix all the nits, gnats, and SPAG (spelling and grammar) unless you have UNLIMITED funds for your writing, a Professional Editor is costly.
The cleaner, more concise, and well-written work you can send to an Editor, Proofreader, or anyone else for that matter, the MORE you will earn the RESPECT and PROFESSIONAL courtesies from people who understand everything it takes to create a readable manuscript. (Not to mention – you will save MONEY in the process.)
Over the last twenty years, I’ve belonged to several writing groups. One of the best things about these groups is having OTHERS read your work. And these folks are not your mother, your significant other, or your best friend. No, they are other writers, and often they are more experienced, OR they have eagle eyes. Part of my education as a writer started with the folks in these writing groups. And, I’ve never forgotten how much I learned. I’m also extremely grateful to the writers who took their time to educate me in the intricacies of producing a manuscript versus ‘writing a story.’
EDITING is often used as an UMBRELLA phrase for two very distinct steps in the writing process.
REVISING is a different process, but it is the first step for the writer. We will discuss this further as we move thought this series, but it is important to note the differences. REVISING deals with ADDING sentences, words, thoughts, REMOVING unneeded words and sentences, along with MOVING paragraphs, sentences, or even chapters. Lastly, the REVISING process includes substitutions of words, sentences, etc.
EDITING is the actual process of checking your CAPITALIZATION, word USAGE, PUNCTUATION, and lastly SPELLING.
Both of these items are part of The EDITING Process. They constitute one of the most essential parts of writing.
However, it is often the most neglected, and one that writers hate.
Editing your work is extremely difficult. Let’s face it: we all fall in love with every single word we put on the page. We know the pain of placing those words, and we’re not willing to let any of them go away. But the truth is: Not all of your words need to be in your story.
In this series on Editing, we’re going to talk about the different types and how to self-edit. And I’m going to do my best to give you an overview of how important the edit is to your writing.
MOST IMPORTANT FACTOID – Editing is much more than finding spelling or grammatical errors.
Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing:
Developmental Editing – this is a catch-all phrase, and we will look at the many different terms used for this type of edit.
Proofreading – this IMPORTANT step is crucial. While a perfect manuscript is nearly impossible to accomplish, it is imperative to find as many typographical, grammatical, spelling, and nitpicking errors as you can.
Next week, we will start on the Developmental Editing process and how important it is to your work.