editing · formatting · self-publishing · writing

Confused? I Know I am!

Okay, so in the world of Indie Publishing there appears to be quite a bit of discussion regarding editing. Naturally, most writers want to publish a really great story and also want readers to enjoy their books without the irritation of spelling mistakes and grammar issues getting in the way. However, there is confusion as to what an editor acually does…

I read a lot of posts where a writer will say, well, I don’t need an editor and others who say, I think I need a Developmental Editor/Story Content Editor…etc. etc.

This is the stuff that really bakes my noodle.

I mean, just to clarify, a Developmental Editor is described as:

“A developmental editor may guide an author (or group of authors) in conceiving the topic, planning the overall structure, and developing an outline—and may coach authors in their writing, chapter by chapter. This is true developmental editing, but not the most common way of working.[1] More commonly, a developmental editor is engaged only after someone (usually the publisher) decides that the authors’ draft requires substantial revision and restructuring. In these cases, developmental editing is a radical form of substantive editing.[2]

Irrespective of when the developmental editor is brought into a writing project, authors retain control over the document and are responsible for providing the content. An editor who creates content is no longer an editor but a ghostwriter.[1]

And a Story Editor is described as:

” A job title in motion picture and television production, also sometimes called “supervising producer”. A story editor is a member of the screenwriting staff who edits stories for screenplays.

The story editor has many responsibilities, including finding new script/breakdown writers, developing stories with writers, and ensuring that scripts are suitable for production. The story editor will work closely with the writer on each draft of their story and script, giving the writer feedback on the quality of their work, suggesting improvements that can be made while also ensuring that practical issues, like continuity and correct running time, are adhered to. When a script is past due, multiple people may write an act—called “gang banging” a script. Many primetime series have an executive story editor and a story editor.”

Basically, in the world of books, most writers will need an editor who checks through the issues of spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, repetition, perhaps even formatting and whether there are major plot holes. There are usually three types of main editing: Basic, medium and what I would describe as heavy/substantive. Proofreading, is normally done after editing and is a final check for any lingering spelling/grammar issues.

If an author or writer does not understand the difference, this is where problems can arise. As I know from personal experience and the disappointment of having my work professionally edited and finding it less than satisfactory, it is important to know what YOU want from the editing experience and to convey that to the potential editor.

Self-publishing is a steep learning curve into the unknown. To get the best from the experience, it’s best to research and make sure you don’t end up out of pocket.

*descriptions taken from online searches and Wickipedia.

*Apologies if this is bit of a rant, and of course, this is just my opinion.

*Please keep comments polite and concise. Thank you.



4 thoughts on “Confused? I Know I am!

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