Friday, 27 June 2014

Normal edits vs Developmental edits

In the world of writing, you'll come across editors. Be they good or bad, there's always more than one type and this post should cover the basic of the two, and how to do it yourself.
But remember that editing your own work may, and probably will, end up in a lot of biased mistakes. Obviously, you won't want to say your own work is bad, so you'll probably need to hire an editor.

Normal editors generally just look at your work and go through it, marking up where you went wrong and where you need to improve. Some will add notes besides you work, and some will actually edit the work for you, but the ones that actually edit your work for you will usually cost a lot more.
Some editors will take your work, and paste each part into a new document for editing which is easy to do yourself, and doesn't take much time. At all! If you want to edit your own work without making drastic changes then simply go through your work and make little changes to punctuation and grammar. I personally enjoy copy-pasting my work paragraph by paragraph, and then re-wording it all. Usually, this will help me get better 'flow'. Also, it is highly advisable to go through your writing and speak it aloud. This will seriously help you to place in more natural breaks where the reader should take a second-pause or stop reading.

A developmental editor will go through your work and make a ton of changes to the plot, characters etc when they are needed. These editors are usually costly and will take more time, because they are essentially re-writing your work. And whilst this is handy for you, you might feel as though the book you get back is't your own and you may feel bad for publishing it when the time comes.
If you really wanna get down to editing your own novel or work like this, then it will take time, patience and an overhaul of notes. You need to accept that your plot may be weak, and your characters may not be great. And this may take a seriously good writer. So, in order to edit your own work developmentally, you will need to think of the work as 'not your own' and take a fresh look at it after not even going near it for maybe three or four weeks. After these weeks are over, you should be prepared to take a glass of whiskey (or coffee for the minors!) and edit-edit-edit. It may take more or less time than it took to actually write your novel but it will be hard!

And remember - I offer editing services!

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