Unpacking the Editing Process***
A lot of my writing friends groan and moan when it comes to editing, but I love this part of the writing process. For me, editing is my natural habitat so that might explain why I don’t dread it as much as others seem to. So, let’s have a look at what the editing process comprises.
It’s a three-phase process: A structural edit. A copy edit. A final proof read. Sounds scary, but it isn’t.
A structural edit is where an editor – or you with your editor hat on – looks at the overall story and answers questions like: Does the story make sense? Are the actions and reactions laid out in a logical and understandable way? Does each scene move the story forward? Are the main characters changing and coming to terms with their main issue in a logic and clear way? Is the point of view consistent throughout the story? Which bits annoy, or stand out, or need closer attention? Can these areas be rewritten or moved or deleted altogether?
I’m not going to sugar coat this, this phase can be a lot of work. Even writers who plan their stories need to do a structural edit once they’ve finished writing the story. And it’s especially useful for writers who begin without a clear plan for their story. Believe me, structural edits get easier – and faster – every time you do one. And no, I’m not just saying that because editing comes so easy to me. I find it as difficult, if not even more difficult, as anyone when it comes to editing my own work.
A copy edit usually means fixing grammatical errors (misplaced commas, missing full stops, wrong or confusing sentence structures) and spelling errors.
The final proof read is what you do right at the end of the process, just before submitting your story to a publisher, to a competition, or uploading it when self-publishing. You should find few or no mistakes, but if you do, you must fix them. It is essential to do a final proof read so you can pick up anything that the other two phases have missed.
Personally, I tend to do both a structural edit and a copy edit at the same time. This is probably because most editing jobs I’ve had don’t have the luxury of time or resources to separate these two into separate activities. The final proof read I get someone else to do. Or I leave the story for weeks or months so that I can view it through fresh eyes. When I do that, mistakes just jump right off the page.
Australian, Wendy Lee Davies began writing romances as a lark after leaving her communications and editing job of many years.
Wendy enjoys cycling, especially cycle touring which she did a lot of in her younger, some say more foolish, years. Now that she’s older and wiser, Wendy is wearing out the bike paths around her home town, making good use of her amazing pedal-assist electric bike. She's also traversed most of the incredible rail trails available in Victoria, and one in New Zealand as well.
If she's not writing or riding her bike, Wendy can be found enjoying a coffee in some cafe. Or taking landscape photographs. Sometimes she makes cookies or muffins. She’s even been known, on occasion, to annoy her writing friends with long, detailed editorial comments on their latest writing endeavour. But don't worry. They get her back, tenfold, when it comes to critiquing her latest romance-in-progress.
You can catch up on her latest news via her website (www.wendyleedavies.com ). She loves hearing from readers, so don’t be shy about dropping her a line.
Good Enough for Love
Renovating a country hotel challenges everything Amber knows…
When Amber Hutchinson inherits a country hotel, all she wants is to do it up, sell it and move on. The money she’ll earn from the hotel is her only chance to secure her future, even if living in the country never featured in her plans.
Local sheep farmer, Zach Wentworth always does the right thing, but he won’t risk his heart being broken. All he wants is to improve his farm and keep his hometown of Willow’s Bend alive. So, when he comes across a woman stuck in the hotel window, he naturally tries to help.
Sure, Amber’s tempted by the handsome sheep farmer. But she knows their sizzling attraction won’t last. It never does. Because she’s never been good enough for anyone to love. Without the hotel, Willow’s Bend is likely to die a slow death, so Zach does whatever he can to secure the town's future. But doing the right thing just might mean risking his heart once again.
With everyone eagerly watching their every move, Amber and Zach must choose between protecting their wounded hearts and taking a chance on love.
Thanks, Wendy! I am slowly and painfully learning to enjoy the editing process. My natural habitat is in the first draft - those are SO MUCH FUN!!! But, editing is definitely growing on me!
How about you? Is your natural habitat the first draft, the structural edit, copy edit, or the proof read?