What Are “Edits”?
I am waiting for the next round of edits from my editor, and I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about edits. What do I mean when I say “edits”? For me, there are a couple of different kinds of edits. Probably every writer has their own version, but here is mine:
When I’m writing my first draft, the first thing I do when I sit down to write is go over what I last wrote and fix any boo-boos I find, Spelling, grammar, small changes in the characters or story all get a quick fix. When I’ve finished the story, I go through it again. Sometimes the story has changed since chapter 1. Often secondary characters have changed their appearance, their name, or their motivation. I send it out to my beta readers to see where the story doesn’t make sense or has bits missing. When they send it back, I pay attention to their comments. They tell me the unvarnished truth about how they like the characters and the story. I sometimes make pretty major changes based on what they tell me. I’ve learned to listen to them! After that, I read it all the way through to catch repetitive words, adverbs, and that sort of thing. Those changes are what I call Self Edits, and I do those before the manuscript goes to the publisher. When you read my free serial, Wolf’s Lady, you aren’t getting any editing at all, nto even the basic self-edits I usually do.
These are the edits suggested by the publisher. My publisher, Liquid Silver Books, assigns an editor for the manuscript and gives us a due date to have it complete and turned in. She reads it through, and uses Track Changes and balloon comments to correct punctuation (I really suck at commas!) and point out where things could and/or should be worded differently. Sometimes there are major changes like a different ending, or adding or deleting a scene. These are done in usually three rounds of editing. She makes suggestions/corrections and send the manuscript to me. I do some correcting and rewriting and then send it back to her. We go back and forth until we’re happy with it, and she turns it in the the Editor in Chief.
Final Line Edits:
The FLEs are done by another editor assigned by the publisher. Mostly this person is looking for typos, punctuation, small wording changes, etc. The FLE editor sends the corrections to me to accept, and I make the changes and send it back. Then it goes to the formatter to be made ready for sale. It’s sad and frustrating that even after all the times the manuscript has been looked at, typos still slip through!