Overview of the Editing Process
Many authors struggle with the editing process. This comes down to a mix of not knowing what’s potentially ‘wrong’ with your story – not knowing what needs to be fixed – and not being familiar with the standards and conventions for writing a literary work, such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar, etc.
When we edit our stories, we really must do a deep dive into what we’ve written, searching for any errors or inconsistencies and correcting any glaringly obvious errors of things that don’t work on a logical or realistic level. With experience, editing does become easier so the more practice you have redrafting your work, the better you will become at it.
Sometimes, if you don’t know the conventions and rules around English, you can struggle with correcting your own errors. But, like most things, it’s simply a matter of time, patience, and education. A good eye for detail can help too.
Publishers want to receive finished, polished manuscripts. They’re often overworked and time poor, so they’re not looking for ‘unpolished gems’. They simply don’t have the time to make your story the best it can be for you. You, as an author, need to be able to do that. If you struggle with editing, there are external, freelance editors who you can pay, but it comes at a cost. And some editors don’t necessarily make your story sing, they don’t necessarily make it any more publishable. They might fix some full stops and commas here and there, but they’re not going to magically transform your story into a bestseller unless you’ve already endowed it with a strong foundation.
The editing module has two segments. Part A focuses on analysing and improving the unique creative aspects of the story, such as character and plot.
Part B of the editing process focuses on the technical aspects of the story such as punctuation, grammar, layout, etc.
As touched on before, editing is a fundamental part of the writing process. Love it or hate it, any author worth their salt needs to come to terms with this crucial element of writing. And the better you can distance yourself from your writing and look at it objectively, the stronger your writing will become.
Now, let’s prepare to kill some of those darlings, shall we?