More Writing Skills

What is Editing? Polishing Your Writing

Editing prepares a work for publication by checking for accuracy, completeness, consistency, word choice, writing style and spelling errors.

by Bob Kerstetter

What Editing Does

Editing prepares a written work for publication. An editor checks for completeness, accuracy, consistency, word choice, writing style and spelling errors. While a writer may accept, negotiate or reject individual edits, the efforts of an editor always enhance the final product.

Sometimes the writer doubles as the editor. However, a professional editor with no previous knowledge of a work usually produces better results. An editor with no pride invested in a composition brings fresh insights with eyes tuned to enhance and refine.

How Editing Works

A written work receives two edits—the copyedit and the final proofreading.

Copyediting happens when a writer turns in a draft copy. The editor examines the copy for all things erroneous, missing and debatable. The editor marks up the draft with corrections, suggestions and questions. After reviewing the marked up copy, the writer makes changes, while discussing questionable items with the editor.

Proofreading is the final check before publishing. The writer does the final proofreading, often with the assistance of an editor or another writer. Proofreading verifies the inclusion of corrections from the copyedit. It also checks for typographical and formatting errors. The details of the proofreading process vary, depending on the publishing format. For print publishing, proofreading reviews copies of the typeset pages. Proofing for web publishing happens in the online staging area for the website, although some writers prefer to proofread printed copies of the web pages. Proofreading sometimes uncovers mistakes overlooked during the copyedit.

How Writers and Editors Mix

Editing adds suspense to the writing process. While they appreciate the efforts of a thoughtful editor, writers also love their own turns of phrase and their own content. Editors push for writers to verify facts, write with fairness and improve the clarity of their writing styles.

The push-pull of ideas and opinions in copyediting and proofreading always improves the published product.

Editing for Your Needs

Village Hiker offers editing services to individuals, organizations and businesses in Dallas, Texas and worldwide. We are also writers, ghostwriters, writing trainers, writing coaches and publishers. For information on how we can help you with your writing and publishing contact Village Hiker.

See also

What is Writing?

What is Ghostwriting?

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