“We edit your words, your writing, your sentences and paragraphs… but never your voice.”
― Rogena Mitchell-Jones
Editing is the process in which a manuscript is modified, corrected and polished thoroughly. It is the process of correcting and polishing the manuscript in order to make it stand out.
I have worked as the Editor-In-Chief (English Language) at a local publishing house for more than 5 years and my speciality is Editing of Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction works.
In literature, there are different types of editing depending upon the work that needs to be done on an individual manuscript. It is subjective and depends upon what exactly is lacking or needs improvement regarding the overall quality of the individual manuscript. For example, in some manuscripts, prose needs tightening, whereas in the other the overall plot-structure needs to be fixed, or in some, the scenes are not executed well or the dialogues are lacking in quality, and so on. So the first job of an editor is to determine (based on the sample chapters they are provided by the writer) is to determine which kind of editing does their work needs.
What is editing?
Editing, in the overall sense of the word, involves minor as well as major changes that polish your manuscript technically by focusing on the sentence structure, punctuations, spelling mistakes, stylistic alterations, voice correction, grammatical errors, plot structuring mistakes in the already revised text. While editing, the overall story remains somewhat the same (unless it is strictly developmental editing), and, ‘fixing’ the manuscript’s structure, as well as the overall plot, is the priority.
Types Of Editing:
|Type Of Editing||What it entails|
|Substantive Editing||Substantive editing considers a work’s organisation and presentation. It involves tightening and clarifying at a chapter, scene, paragraph, and sentence level. |
Unlike Developmental Editing (see below), which covers the big-picture issues and in-depth restructuring of a novel, Substantive Editing deals with the actual prose.
Recommended for: main-stream/commercial genre writers and authors who have already published several books in the past.
|Developmental Editing||The Developmental Editor looks deeply at the organisation and strength of a book as a whole. Think big picture; the entire structure of the book is taken into consideration right from pacing to characters, point of views to tenses, plot points to subplots and dialogue to pacing and tension graphs. Weak links are exposed and questioned and the order, flow, and consistency of the entire plot and concept if scrutinised and if anything seems off, which it usually does, then the author is suggested to re-work on those issues.|
Recommended for: First-time authors and authors of literary, fantasy & science-fiction genres and book series.
|Line Editing||Line editing is often used interchangeably with the term copyediting. However, when it is distinguished from copyediting, it refers to a unique edit that falls between copyediting and developmental editing in intensity. In line editing, the editor looks at your book line by line, analysing each and every sentence. |
The editor considers word choice and the power and meaning of a sentence. The editor considers the syntax and whether a sentence needs to be trimmed or tightened. Line editing helps in making the prose sing.
Recommended for: Authors who want to get their manuscript fixed for minute issues without going for big structural reconstructions.
|Copy Editing||Copyediting, commonly known as line editing, is a light form of editing that lends a professional polish to a book. The editor reviews your work, fixing any mechanical errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. |
Copyediting is the least-expensive version of editing. Some professionals divide copyediting and line editing into two separate edits, copyediting being the lighter, grammar-only edit, and line editing being a more intense look at each sentence’s meaning.
Recommended for: Authors who are confided about their book’s structure and want to save money on editing while still getting a professional have a look at it.
General Terms & Conditions
- the medium in which the editing service will be carried out (e.g. in Word, on PDF, on paper)
- how the material will be annotated (e.g. Track Changes in Word)
- the length of time required to complete the project, as advised by me
- a fee for the project, based on a quotation supplied by me, in writing (including email), following my evaluation of the material to be proofread/edited and the time frame required to complete the job
- any expenses (e.g. postage) that the Client will bear in addition to the costs of the proofreading/editing
- the date by which the material will be delivered by the Client to me
- the latest date by which the completed project will be returned, following my advice to the Client
- Please note that if, on receipt of the project to be worked on (or at an early stage), it becomes apparent that significantly more work is required than had been anticipated in the preliminary discussion/brief or from the sample supplied, I may renegotiate the fee and/or the deadline, or decline to carry out the work.
NOTE: Prior to the commencement of the editing work, the Client and I will agree, in writing (including email), the terms of the project:
- I’ve finished writing my manuscript, can I send it for editing?
Answer: Yes, but only if you’ve worked on your manuscript for at least 4-5 drafts and have thoroughly revised as well as edited it, to the best of your capability. If you send a half-baked manuscript, then it’ll only end up wasting your money and time. Also, you should first get a beta reading done and then make changes in your manuscript and then proceed with the thought of editing.
If you don’t know what beta reading is, then please read this article: What are Beta Readers And Why Do you need them? and Beta Reading
- How can I decide which type of editing my manuscript needs?
Answer: If you are a veteran writer (you’ve written more than 2-3 books), you may already know exactly which type of editing service(s) you need. If you are a new or a first-time writer, then the combination that is generally suggested is – Substantive editing or developmental editing and copyediting. The decision may vary from person to person and even on one’s budget.
If you are not sure, then simply go along with what I suggest based on the sample chapters of your manuscript that you will provide for me.
No matter the case, once I read through the sample chapters, I always suggest what type of editing the manuscript needs, so I will suggest it based on your writing and story.
- What are Rounds? How many Rounds will my manuscript need?
Answer: Editing is done in rounds – first I will read through your book, multiple times, and mark all the places that need change and the changes themselves, along with highlighting of all the issues with the story, concept, plot structure, language, voice, writing, pacing, characterisation, exposition, issues with dialogues, plot holes, linearity of plot, believability, readability, etc. The first round is the most intensive round of editing and takes the longest time because the main editing is done in the first round. Once I am done with the editing, I will be sending you the manuscript in two separate files – one will be your manuscript marked with all changes and one in the form of a repot. Then you will have to read them both and make changes accordingly to that manuscript.
Once you are done, you will send the manuscript back to me with the revisions and I will then begin round two. This will again involve multiple readings of your manuscript and then the edits in the revised draft.
This will continue till the manuscript doesn’t need anymore changes.
The number of editing rounds will depend on your manuscript. Generally it takes 3-4 rounds for editing a manuscript (more if need be.)
- How long does the process of editing takes?
Answer: Anywhere between 2 to 6 months. It depends on how long your book is and how long you take to revise the manuscript after each round.
“Heena is one of the finest editors we’ve worked with; she is thorough, relentless and highly driven. Her command over English language and wide experience in English literature brings a lot to the table. In spite of her wide knowledge and experience, she respects the vision of every writer, novice or experiences, that she works with. Her communication is fantastic and the results are simply par excellence!“
Director, Citrus Publishers
“She is a brilliant editor and a wonderful person. I chose her for my book’s developmental & substantive editing. Heena helped me to develop my story and with her guidance, I was able to overcome all the loopholes in my story. She not only edits well but also guides with her whole heart. She is sincere, honest, a good listener and an excellent guide. I strongly recommend her.”
Priyanka Ranadive, PhD in Museology and Archeology
Author of Little Netra’s Vist To Ancient Monument series
READY TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?
Just drop me an email with your manuscripts details (such as Working Title, Genre, Word Count, etc.) along with the first 2 chapters at email@example.com and I’ll get back to you with a quote and a sample edit within 24-48 hours.