Editing involves exposing harsh truths, making tough decisions, and facilitating collaboration. So how can an editor—especially a new one—make sure that their decisions, suggestions, and occasional wing-clippings are fair? The answer lies in the ability to separate what we want a story to be (which is subjective and infinite) from what the story and author needs.
Whether you specialize in developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, or some combination of the three, there are a few great online platforms you can use to kickstart or revamp your freelance career.
I wish I had learned about the connection between editing and revising sooner. I fell in love with revision and realized that my passion is in helping other writers create their best work. Revising helped me realize that I want to work in the publishing industry; I just wish these connections were made clearer in high school. I would have realized my passion much sooner.
A line edit typically occurs between developmental editing and copyediting, and it’s a sort of transition between making large structural changes and perfecting the mechanics of the language. Not every manuscript needs a line edit, but a line edit would likely enhance most manuscripts because its primary focus is not on perfecting the language but on elevating it.
Writing a story takes blood, sweat, and tears, and the process of revising one’s own work takes time and dedication. All this hard work culminates in a promising manuscript, but in order to achieve the most success, a manuscript needs the attention of a professional editor. To receive the best editing, it’s important to know what to ask for—and that requires knowing the levels of editing offered.
Ultimately, each kind of editing can mean different things to different editors. But even when you have the lines between the various types of editing more clearly defined, certain styles of editing can bleed over between types and others cannot. It all depends on timing and the needs of the manuscript or publishing house.