The Five Principles of Editing
Writing needs to be concise, to stay on track and avoid waffling. It has to be clear, meaning easily understood. All aspects need to be complete, which is important for layered plotlines and for non-fiction manuscripts, so the audience can understand fully. The manuscript has to be consistent throughout the entire manuscript; this applies to everything from spelling a particular word to style and tone. And of course a manuscript must have correct form meaning it follows the standard rules of grammar.
Levels of Editing
Editing requires some rewriting in regards to grammar use and readability while keeping the author’s content and style. It depends on the individual’s work that governs how much editing is required. The identified stages of editing are:
- Structural Editing
- Copy Editing
Structural editing or substantive editing is the first stage and it looks at the big picture. It focuses on fixing larger issues with a manuscript that results in rewriting or deleting paragraphs. It’s about getting the manuscript’s structure right. It also takes other aspects into consideration, such as the tone, language, terminology used, logical flow, repetition, inconsistencies, and legal requirements.
Copy editing or line editing focuses on the text for completeness, consistency, readability and audience suitability. This stage requires attention to spelling and grammar.
Proofreading makes sure that the previous corrections have been made. It focuses on chapter headings, page references, typographical errors, spelling mistakes, unclear text, names and terms, and the format.
Some of these stages overlap but the descriptions above identify the different stages of editing.
All stages of editing are vital processes that shouldn’t be dismissed. The story or article must be error free to be received well by its intended audience. Annoying distractions can interrupt the flow causing the reader to lose interest. Besides looking unprofessional, the author loses credibility.
BES provides constructive criticism or suggestions with structural editing. We also provide similar comments on manuscripts that have been submitted for copy editing. This is invaluable information for the author to learn, enhance skills and become a better writer.
Difference Between Structural Editing and Manuscript Assessment?
Structural editing means that we reshape your manuscript while keeping you informed throughout the process.
Manuscript assessment provides you with a report containing constructive criticism and ways to improve your manuscript. It may highlight bad habits that need to be conquered. Because you’re doing the work to reshape your manuscript means that you can reduce editing costs later.
Best Option For Your Manuscript
It can be difficult for writers to judge their own work objectively. Some people might have a feeling that the sentence structure needs attention or the punctuation is weak, but some times writers simply don’t know.
Submit a sample of the manuscript to BES and we can suggest the best option for your work.
Click here for an online quote.