Guest Post: What’s Missing from your Self-Editing by Ryan Lanz

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Guest Post: What’s Missing from your Self-Editing by Ryan Lanz

Thank you to Ryan Lanz for this suggestion-packed article, which first appeared on his website, A Writer’s Path.

For some writers, editing strikes fear into their hearts. Okay, perhaps not fear, but some discomfort. At least a stomach ache, right?

Before you reach for the antacids, let’s discuss the different methods of editing and introduce some ways that might make it less intimidating.

writing

Why do we edit?

I know, it’s a simple question. But as you’ve observed in some of my past blog posts, I strive to get to the root of the subject at hand. By mastering the basics, we can reach many heights (thank you, fortune cookie from lunch).

  • To look professional
  • To keep from annoying or putting-off your readers
  • For the writer to further prove that he/she is not an amateur
  • To avoid discouraging an agent, editor, or publisher from considering your manuscript

I imagine those all seem pretty obvious. The last item was particularly interesting to me, though. I’ve read many interviews where literary agents say that spelling/grammar errors are often within the top three pet-peeves. One commented that a writer can’t be trusted with a book deal if the same writer can’t be trusted with basic grammar.

Writing and coffee

Types of Editing

That also brings us to the different types of editing. I once thought this was fairly straight-forward. Ah, but the life of an editor is anything but simple. There are many types of editing that one can do. Here are some of the different categories:

  • Proofreading
  • Line Editing
  • Copyediting
  • Substantive Editing
  • Developmental Editing
  • Manuscript evaluation
  • Manuscript critique

Related: Check out available proofreaders and copyeditors here.

Some editors process these terms/categories a bit differently, but essentially it depends on how detailed you want an editor to go. Sometimes, it’s just easier to pay an editor to work on your manuscript; however, you can always go the route of self-editing.

Self-Editing

So, how do you self-edit? This isn’t too difficult on the surface, but there are a few methods that might help to keep in mind.

To continue reading this article, click here.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

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