How can you tell if a piece of writing is strong? Whether you’re editing for a publishing company, working as a freelancer, or self-editing, correctly assessing the quality of the work is imperative. In this excerpt from The Editor’s Companion, Steve Dunham discusses four marks of good writing and how you can recognize them.
Read the article at 4 Marks of Good Writing.
A good editor is worth their weight in gold.
I’m one of those oddballs who still respects the “old school” editor. Sure, they’ve taken some heat as of late. What with self-publishing being all the rage, many authors have seemed to rely less on the industry professional, and more on readers’ perspective. After all, your book should appeal to readers more than simply survive some editorial checklist. As a result, the beta reader has replaced the editor in many authors’ minds.
Perhaps it comes down to experience. Thus far, my experience with editors have been great. They have definitely improved my stories and made catches that were sorely needed. On the other hand are writing friends who have horror stories about working with unrelenting editors who required huge, unrealistic changes to the story. So maybe it comes down to ones personal experience.
All that to say, this individual’s opinion about editors catching a lot more than beta readers really resonated. Sure, at certain stages in a book’s life, beta readers may be valuable. But I can’t imagine anyone being as important to the production of a good story than a professional editor.
1. The Content Edit developmental, substantive, or macro edit; sometimes simply called revisions. This is where the editor gives big-picture notes. Fiction: plot, characterization, scene crafting, POV’s, and all the other elements of your story. Non-fiction: logical flow of ideas, readability, strength of argument, interest level. The editor doesn’t actually edit your work in this stage, they usually give you a set of notes and send you back to work on your revisions.
2. The Line Edit. The editor works directly in your manuscript document, using Track Changes and Comments in Word. She suggests word, sentence and paragraph changes, looks for discrepancies, asks questions about things that don’t make sense, highlights inconsistencies or POV breaks, and looks for anything else that needs to be smoothed out. The line editor is responsible for seeing that the manuscript conforms to house style guidelines.
3. The Copy Edit. This is the most detailed editing, dealing with typos, spelling, punctuation, word use. Sometimes fact checking is done; permissions are checked; footnotes are verified.
Read more at: What Does a Book Edit Look Like? | Rachelle Gardner.