Writing Done Right
Editing Strategies
Summary: This article looks at the two primary types of edits and what I do to prepare my manuscript for editing.

Related Software

Related Affiliates

This article will discuss basic types of editing and describe what I do to get my manuscript ready to be examined by my editors.

There are two basic types of editing: Storyboard Edits and Line Edits.

Storyboard Edits

The Storyboard edits are looking for errors and plot holes in the story line and also problems with the character development. In this type of edit, a faster read through achieves the best edit because the story should flow. Anything that is tough to read will be a red flag to stop and consider what the issue might be. It could be a plot hole or a character acting out of the ordinary. Whatever the case, a faster edit will get your storyboard fixes in better.

Line Edits

The Line edits are exactly as they sound. Going line for line in the book looking for the grammar edits. The line editor should also be looking for any ways to make the story flow better. This type of edit can take a lot longer, sometimes up to a month to really comb through. You can help your line editor's job by learning about your typical mistakes that naturally occur in your writing and selectively edit your manuscript with those key tendencies in mind.

My Tips

I like to do several types of personal edits before sending a manuscript out for editing. I will do a really fast read through on the screen once, but I find that type of editing does not usually do the job well. My next step is to print out the document on paper and go over it with a pen leaving edits, but also notes about the storyline. A good storyboard edit will find some line items, but really, it should be making notes about the flow of the plot and the development of the characters.

Once my first line of notes is done, I will integrate those edits and read through it one more time at least looking for line items and tendencies, though I may also do keyword searches and check all uses of 'then' and 'than', and other common errors. Once I have done that, I will send my manuscript off to beta readers who will catch a few more items I missed the first time.

After integrating beta reader edits, I usually pass the manuscript along to be edited and do a final edit myself while narrating the audiobook. If you do not narrate an audiobook, read the book to yourself slowly out load, as that will find a lot of extra errors.