WHAT IS LINE EDITNG, COPYEDITING, AND PROOFREADING?

 

So you’re no longer confused, and to prevent editor-to-author miscommunication, I’m here to explain the different types of edits: line, copy, and proof.

Line-editing

First, you want a line edit, the most important in my opinion. Whenever a friend reads a section from your book and gives you feedback, this is considered a very minor form of line editing. A line editor’s job is to tell you where there are plot holes and offer ideas on how to fix them. They’re most likely to tell you that eight of your chapters are unnecessary and that you should discard them. In other words, if you find a good line editor, they’ll get your plot in shape so no reader will want to put your book down. For good results, a moderate to intense line edit is needed while your book is in its early draft state.

Copy-editing

Second, you want a copy edit. Once your plot is the best it can be, you’ll want someone to check your sentence structures, a.k.a. your syntax, your grammar, spelling, etc., which is a copy editor’s job. There’s no minor, moderate, or intense form of copy editing, unless you count the instances where an editor points out a problem, such as the way you use the word there, once and never again. They’ll say something like, “I see that you use ‘there’ incorrectly many times in this chapter. Since there are so many, I wanted to make sure you were aware, but I don’t want to point all of them out.” This might be a moderate to minor copy edit if they do this for a lot of mistakes.

Proof-reading

Lastly, you want a proofread. Sometimes referred to as a proof editor, a proofreader reads the final stage of your draft to make sure everything sounds right. They are not expected to do hard editing of any kind. They’re basically beta readers, so don’t spend a ton of money on them when you can get fans or friends to read your manuscript for free.

Thanks for reading. I’ve wanted to make this kind of post for so long, but I never really knew the differences myself until recently.

Hope this helped,

WritingMime

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Writing Beginnings To Your Books

I wanted to do a “How To Make Your Book’s Ending Unrushed” post, but I decided to do one on book beginnings instead. Almost every book on Amazon.com gives an excerpt of their first few pages. If they don’t, that’s probably a sign that the book has a bad beginning.

My hypothesis: Beginnings should make a reader curious. It’s not always cliché to start with an eerie lead and loose facts to get a reader going. I’ve switched my chapters’ order so many times to fit this. I finally decided to take the easy way out and pick the one with the most action to start the book. Although, the first time I wrote it, that’s not at all how it started in my head. Is that okay or am I betraying my story? Is it action or curiosity that reels in readers? Here are the beginnings to other books I’ve read so we can begin to figure that out. My research:

Looking for Alaska, by John Green:

  • Does it have action? No, in the next chapter he arrives at his boarding school. The first chapter revolves around Pudge and the reason he is going to a private school.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, by giving Pudge purpose to go, we want to see if going to a private school will pan out the way he wants it to.

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher:

  • Does it have action? No, in the next chapter, a box of tapes arrived at a boy’s door step and really starts the story. The first chapter is the aftermath of what has happened. It’s very unclear.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, we are immediately interested in the boy’s purpose; why he’s acting to such degrees of importance and what events cause this. There is clearly need to know.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling:

  • Does it have action: Yes and no. No fighting or chase scenes if that’s what you meant. Yes, we follow characters other than the main one around. There is contrast between them and wizards looming around the muggle world. It’s not until chapter four that we actually enter the wizard world.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, the first chapter refers to some event that happened before this new story begins. We also want to know what is going to happen to this poor baby that has been given to a mean bunch of people he’ll have to call family.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black:

  • Is there action? Yes? The MC wakes up in a bathtub after she’d drank too much the night before, only to find the rest of the partygoers are dead in the other room. She explores.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, we immediately want to know how everyone died and how she survived. It sounds cliché, but only if you write it just like that. Holly Black used detail to mask many clichés.

The Merchant of Death, by D. J. MacHale:

  • Is there action? Sort of. Bobby is writing in past tense through a letter about leaving a pretty girl at his house to go someplace unknown with his uncle.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, we know something has gone horribly wrong by the urgency and confusion Bobby speaks in. We also immediately want to know where his uncle takes him and why he’s acting this way.

Well, it looks like the beginning of my story can have action, but what’s most important (and I should mention the books I’ve chosen above are one’s I’d recommend to others) is that it entices the reader’s curiosity. Possibly create a purpose or a goal, or maybe rewrite the beginning in a way where the end of the story comes first so the reader wants more. Putting contrast between different characters or between how one usually acts and how they’re acting while in danger would both work. If you have many of these in many chapters, which one would create the most curiosity placed at the beginning? Go from there.

Thanks for reading,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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