WORKING WITH A LINE EDITOR
I've talked before about working with editors (found here) but since I'm about to go into line edits for my upcoming book (you can pre-order here), I thought that I would talk to you today about what it's like to work with a line editor, what they do, and how to prepare yourself for that part of the professional edit. Now I know some authors who do the line edits along side the developmental editing, or they have the same person doing both. Personally I use different ones but that's just my way of doing things, and I don't think there's a problem with doing it either way.
I will say that I think it's important to get someone who's qualified and someone who's got that attention to detail that you need. I know of some authors who do a line edit as part of their self-edit, but I am just not that eagle eyed when it comes to editing so I leave all of that for my line editor to do. That said, my developmental editor will also something spot clunky sentences and the like, and we'll work through them then in the first stage of editing.
So what does a line editor do? They are quite simply looking at your manuscript and reading on a line by line basis. The clue is in the name. The developmental editor looks at the story on a larger scale while the line editor is honing down your prose. Making sure that your words flow, that they don't pull people out of the story and that the manuscript is a clean as it can be.
What's it like working with one? I've been very lucky in that my editing team is made up of people I've known for a very long time, and I've been working with them for a while as well. My best friend Kim is my developmental editor, and my best friend, B, is my line editor. Both of them have read my books time and time again, and without their diligent work, my books would not be in the good shape they're in now.
So because I know B and have known her for over twenty-five years, working with her has been a pleasure. I don't have to worry too much about her not doing the work in time, and I know that I can rely on her to give me the honest feedback. It means that we can talk things through in person, since she lives with me, and I can be sure that the feedback she's giving me is really what works best for the book as a whole.
The whole of the editing process, something that I have been vocal about, is that I'm not fond of it at all. I don't like having to go through it piece by piece and rework it all. It raises my anxiety levels and it's something that I get super stressed about. Saying all of that, the line editing stage is one that I don't mind all that much. I don't know if it's because I know there aren't likely to be huge changes needed, or just that I only have to focus on the one sentence at a time, but whatever the reason, I don't find myself getting as stressed out and anxious.
Working with a line editor is going to be different for everyone. While some people may enjoy it, others will find it nit picking and it'll set their teeth on edge. It's part of the process that we all have to go through, and it's very much something that can be made easier by working with someone you connect with on some level. No one wants to work with someone who they're not fond of, or who they haven't connected with, who rubs them the wrong way. That's not what any stage of the editing process should be like, and if you're finding that it is, then maybe reconsider using the people you are.
For me, the whole process, line, developmental, and proof reading, are made easier because of the people I work with, and I know how lucky I am to have that. So don't be afraid to shop around and make sure you have the right fit for you.
Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!
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