• Ryanne Harper

Writing Tips: Hire an Editor


This past Saturday, I lead a class all about editing. It was part two of a three-part series I'm doing at the Fort Smith Public Library. You can register for part three, which will cover publishing, here.


So, what did I cover in the editing class? A lot of things. b


But, first, what even is editing?


Types of editing:

Developmental edit: the overall manuscript is considered. The editor considers the document's concept and intended use, content, organization, design, and style. The purpose is to make the document functional for its readers, not just to make it correct and consistent.

What are you looking for in a developmental edit?

  • Plot holes

  • Timelines

  • Subplots

  • Character

  • Consistency

  • Pace

Copy edit: review the material as a whole to ensure its readability, accuracy, and to ensure it is free of omission, errors, inconsistencies, and repetition.

What are you looking for in a copy edit?

  • Grammar errors

  • Punctuation errors

  • Spelling errors

  • Conciseness

  • Style

Line edit: a final read through going line by line. You are reading the book, not for pleasure, but to ensure the above bullet points have been addressed.


The key to a great final product really comes down to having a good working relationship with your editor. Your editor be someone who knows a lot about you - it's just the nature of the business - but will not be a friend. There needs to be a solid boundary there so you both get the most out of the working relationship. The goal for both of you is the best possible version of your book. So, find someone who works well WITH you and take their constructive criticism.


If you have a manuscript and are looking for an editor, we are currently open for submissions. Check out our site and schedule an appointment.




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