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A large number of writers who approach me about professional editing don't know what type of editing they need. There's nothing wrong with that, and I am always happy to discuss options and help clients understand which editing service will benefit their manuscript the most.
That said, having an idea of where to begin makes the process simpler when you do contact an editor. If you're considering professional editing, go through the choices below to find out whether you're ready to get the most out of the editing process and what type of editing will be best for your manuscript.
Before we get started, here are a few basic terms.
High-Level Editing. This type of editing address elements including plot, structure, character development, setting, etc. During high-level editing, we deal with pages and paragraphs and address the manuscript from a broad perspective.
Low-Level Editing. This type of editing deals with style, readability, grammar, punctuation, etc. This is editing of the prose—words and sentences.
Beta Reader. This is someone who reads the manuscript after self-editing but before professional editing. The ideal beta reads often in the genre and is able to offer constructive feedback.
Ready? Answer the questions below to determine which editing service is the best fit for you!
Have you finished your draft?
No → Keep writing!
Have you self-edited?
No → Edit for high-level and low-level elements.
Have you used beta readers?
No → Use beta readers and revise based on feedback.
Are you happy with your manuscript's high-level elements?
I have no clue → MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE
If you're still unsure about what type of editing would be best for your manuscript, you are welcome to email me. Remember that you get the most out of professional editing when you approach it as both an opportunity to improve your manuscript and a learning experience.