My Journey in Editing II

A few weeks ago, I chronicled my adventures in editing my upcoming book Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon. Up to that point, I had undergone 3 types of editing with my publisher, Clean Reads. This week I underwent one more. So I’ve decided to update my understanding of the different types of edits. This time, I’ve got research under my belt.

Pre-Edits

**Going by my experiences, this is pretty much the same as what I thought . However, the definition I found of the term “pre-edits” has something to do with preparing a manuscript before machine translation. Since my book is not currently being translated I don’t think this definition applies to my manuscript–unless I’m missing something . . . which is possible . . .**

This process is something I went through with both of my traditionally published books. Basically, it’s conforming the manuscript to the publisher’s specific formatting requirements–such as having only one space after a period, or all numbers should be written out, or the removal of certain words the publisher doesn’t like. Doing all this first saves time later.

It’s a bit of a tedious process, and I found out I use the word “that” more than I should. But it also tightens up the manuscript. All told, not to bad. But it took a longer time than I thought it would.

Content Edits

***Also called “developmental,” “structural,” or “substantive” editing. Again, this is pretty much what I thought it was.***

This is where the editor goes through and suggests changes to your manuscript. With my first book, Lucas, Guardian of Truth, my editor suggested removing a large chunk of my story and revise some of the character interactions. I did so, and it made the story so much better. This time around the content editing was minimal.

This is the process that can be a little hard for a writer to bear. Your editor will take a good look at your story and be brutally honest about what needs to be changed. However, all the editors I’ve ever worked with are so supportive that even when major changes were suggested, I felt comfortable accepting their criticisms. And it helps to remember that they want your story to work as much as you do. In the end, though, the decision was mine to make.

Line Edits

**Again, pretty much the same as what I thought. A line editor goes through, catches grammar mistakes, etc. However, I was mistaken when I assumed this is the proofing process.**

Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon is the first time I’ve worked with a line editor, and all I have to say is, “Where have you been all my life?” From my understanding, the line editor is the typo catcher. Mine caught grammar mistakes, awkward sentences, missing words, and things like that. It was a pleasure to work with her.

Proof Edits

This is the process I underwent this week. During this process my editor found typos and missing words, etc.  In my current experience, the proof editor overlapped with the line editor. Both of them found typos and such. But even with all the editing this manuscript has undergone thus far, the proof editor still found typos and missing words. I’m soo glad she came to my rescue!

***

And there you have it. My continuing journey in editing. I’m so excited to work with this team–everyone seems to love the book as much as I do! Thank you, Clean Reads! Thank you!

___

For a clearer, better understanding on the types of edits, please see these sites. They are the ones I referenced for this post:

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/amandaonwriting-four-types-of-book-editing-1/

https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/04/4-levels-of-editing-explained-which-service-does-your-book-need/

http://www.archwaypublishing.com/Resources/Editing-and-Design/The-Different-Types-of-Editing.aspx

http://contentrules.com/do-you-know-the-difference-between-pre-editing-and-post-editing/

https://www.taus.net/knowledgebase/index.php/Pre-editing

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

 

Thesaurus Love

This tip comes from my experience in completing the rewrites for my upcoming book. I’ve written tips on word choice before, and that fact returned to me full force, particularly this week.

It is so important to keep away from passive verbs and “crutch” words–that is, those words that you tend to use all the time. “Gaze” is one of my crutches. Also my characters tend to sigh and groan a lot.

Instead you should use active verbs and find different ways of displaying emotion. For example, “He was running to catch up to the girl” is not very powerful or effective. “He ran to catch up to the girl” is better, but “He raced after the girl” is much better, though I’m sure there are much better sentences to use. Other words can also be used to describe something about both the character and the situation without adding useless adjectives or adverbs.

And in my example crutch word, gaze can be replaced by study, survey, glance, glare, or other words depending on the situation.

So how do you find all these wonderful words? A thesaurus. I have rediscovered the love of my thesaurus. And I’m not talking about the one that comes with your word processor, though that is a good start. I have found that my old, torn up thesaurus is vastly superior despite being so old (although, my copy of MS Word is also old).

I also mean a real thesaurus not a dictionary/thesaurus. The one I use I got free for signing up for something or other . . . I don’t remember; it was years ago. But it is worth it to find a good one. And I don’t think it has to be in book form. Someone told me about thesaurus.com, but I’ve never used it. I suppose what is needed is a thesaurus that is thorough.

It’s just one of those tools you should invest in if you are planning on taking writing seriously. It doesn’t have to be a big investment, and you may be able to find it free online. But take the time to find one.

My Journey in Editing

I finally got my edits back from the publisher, as you know. And I got started on it on Sunday. The revision process has never been so slow for me.

That, and my editors are not pulling any punches. They are making me think of every little word, every description, every motivation, everything. I rather appreciate it. It’ll make my story that much better. But it doesn’t lessen my workload any. They did warn me, though.