Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

What to Expect from a Freelance Editor

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Writers, getting ready for conferences need more than just business cards and synopses.You’ve written an amazing story, but you need a second opinion. That’s just one of the things a freelance editor can do for you.

High Concept – What’s your story about at its core? This goes beyond the plot or the characters. It connects with the reader on a level that moves them. A strong high concept can sell a novel to an editor or agent, or assist with marketing an indie-pub. A good editor can read through your first few chapters and confirm your high concept, or make suggestions if you’re having trouble creating one.

Content Editing – Is your story ready for the publishing? After your first revised draft, your editor can help you assess your manuscript, highlighting inconsistencies, or elements of your writing that need honing. She’ll make corrections, give suggestions for you to consider, and offer instruction. The editor has a dual purpose in this edit. First, to improve the manuscript and, second, to help the author grow and learn in her craft. Make sure you don’t spend money on a proofreader prior to this step.

Copy editing – Once your story says what you want it to, a copy editor will make sure your writing follows the general rules of grammar. She’ll double check your sentence structure and punctuation, but she’ll also assess the overall readability of your story, making suggestions on the consistency and flow of your manuscript. Depending on your story and your background with academic English, your manuscript could need little more than a fine polish. Or it could require heavy work. A good editor will evaluate your manuscript carefully at the beginning to give you a firm cost analysis. Some editors even work through your story in sections. This is a great benefit to you as an author, especially if you find you’ve made the same mistake over and over. If your editor has corrected similar problems, and you’ve learned what you did wrong, you can take that correction through your story and save some money.

Line Editing – This final polish is done after the other edits. The specific goal of the last scan is to make sure the other changes didn’t leave style issues like choppy sentences, repetitions, or disconnected paragraphs. This edit shouldn’t result in many changes. If it does, it’s no longer a final polish.

Be sure to know what type of editing you need before you spend the money for it. And choose an editor that specializes in your genre of writing who will partner with you or the good of your manuscript.

Now here’s a treat! It’s my birthday week. To celebrate, I’m offering free assessments of 16 pages from your Christian manuscript. I specialize in romance and its sub-genres, cozy mysteries, and women’s fiction. I’ll scour your pages and make up a content report as well as correct any grammar issues that you might have. All edits will be done using Microsoft Word 2010 tracking changes. If you have questions, please give me a holler!

Your Turn: Want a free assessment on your manuscript? I’m here to help! Use my contact form or leave your email in the comments and tell me: What is the hardest part about writing your story? (For me, it’s finding chunks of quiet time!)

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

One thought on “What to Expect from a Freelance Editor

  1. To me, its drawing up a timeline and keeping everything in order… 🙂 jenlhall63 (at) gmail (dot) com