Ask the Editor; Different Types of Editing

Brandie RandolphWhen I converse with a new client regarding editing their work, I automatically ask what type of editing they need. Ninety-five percent of them have no idea what the different types of editing are or what they entail. I’ve decided to start this column by introducing a basic introduction into editing types.

Copy Editing:

Ensure consistency in all mechanical matters- spelling, capitalization, punctuation, hyphenation, abbreviations, format of lists, etc. Optional Guideline: Allow deviation from house style if the author consistently uses acceptable variants. Check contents page against chapters; check numbering of footnotes or end notes, tables or figures. Correct all indisputable errors in grammar, syntax and usage, but ignore any locution that is not an outright error. Point out paragraphs that seem egregiously wordy or convoluted, but do not revise.  Ignore minor patches of wordiness, imprecise wording or jargon. Ask for clarification on terms likely to be new to readers. Query factual inconsistencies and any statements that seem incorrect.  Note any text, tables or illustrations that may require permission to reprint.

Heavy Editing: 

Ensure consistency in all mechanical matters- spelling, capitalization, punctuation, hyphenation, abbreviations, format of lists, etc. Optional Guideline: Allow deviation from house style if the author consistently uses acceptable variants. Check contents page against chapters; check numbering of footnotes or endnotes, tables or figures. Correct all errors in grammar, syntax and usage.  Rewrite any patches wordy or convoluted patches. Ask for or supply terms likely to be new to readers.  Verify and revise any facts that are incorrect.  Query or fix any facts that are faulty in logic. Note any text, tables or illustrations that may require permission to reprint.

 

Developmental Editing:

This editing evaluates the big picture and assist the author as a writing coach. In this editing, character and plot are the main focus to be sure the story is building up to its rightful place. After analysis of your manuscript, the editor makes suggestions on content, organization to include possibly arranging or rearranging sentences, paragraphs or chapters; the editor may also help develop manuscripts presentation; and, clients MUST understand that in this editing the editor may feel a need to write and rewrite; editor may research as needed, and sometimes suggest topics or provide information about topics for consideration by authors or clients. This editor always keeps the readers in mind while editing. It also tries to help the editor achieve credibility and makes sure the book gives factual content.

Send all Ask the Editor questions to: asktheeditor@penashemagazine.com

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