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Editing Pitfalls

September 22, 2017

As I posted last week, Malice in Memphis and Dark Oak Press are gearing up to release our third anthology based around historical Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis. We're currently in the proofreading process of editing. Proofing is the final step before a book is released. Myself and two other Malice members have spent the last week proofing, MALICE IN MEMPHIS: ELMWOOD: STORIES TO DIE FOR


Readers might not realize the work that actually goes into producing a book. Writing it, that's the easy part, and that's not always easy. There are nights you might pace the floor, pulling your hair out to find the right words to perfect a scene.


Still easier than proofing, I say.


There are four stages of editing.



Line Editing

Copy editing

Final Proofing


Developmental editing AKA Structural Editing AKA Content Editing is the most important part of the editing process. This editing is most significant because it can effect the overall presentation of your copy. Attention is paid to narrative in terms of reader engagement, clarity of content and character development as well as setting. Suggestion could range from, "Get rid of chapter one, to rewrite Point of View. THIS SHOULD BE DONE FIRST BECAUSE THE LAST THING YOU WANT IS TO HAVE AN EDITOR TELL YOU TO START OVER ONCE YOU THINK YOU'RE DONE.


Line editing AKA Line-by-Line editing looks for run-on sentences, overused words, redundancies, tightening of dialogue or paragraphs, correcting scenes where the meaning might not be clear, confusing narrative and improve pacing. This edit will also track internal consistency. IT IS NOT THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF A LINE EDIT TO FIX GRAMMAR, TYPOS, CAPITALIZATION, ETC. That is the job for the...


Copy Editor corrects spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax (word arrangement), ensures consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts and capitalization. THIS IS USUALLY THE LAST PERSON TO SEE THE MANUSCRIPT BEFORE IT GOES INTO PRODUCTION.


Final Proofreading AKA Final Edit is the final proof of the Ready to Print Pages. Once again, spelling, grammar and punctuation come into play, but should already be ironed out before this process. But the conversion from a Word Doc to ready to print pages can mess with formatting, even spelling I'm learning, and we also have to look for missing spaces, missing punctuation and rearrangement of paragraphs. It's really weird what the conversion process can do to a manuscript. THIS IS THE FINAL PROCESS BEFORE PUBLICATION.


So hopefully we'll find all the problems, have them ironed out and get this book released soon.


Mysticalities, the follow-up to Mysta has been turned in and will also be in production soon. Then I'll have to start the proofing process all over again. I'm really excited for this book. We'll get to know Daniel better and I'll tell you, he's got a hard road ahead of him.


I'll be at the Benjamin Hook library tomorrow to see Allan Gilbreath whoop some pirate booty, then you can find me at Two Rivers Book Store from 4 to 6 with fellow Dark Oak authors Robert Krog and Wes Yalhola. If in the Memphis area, stop by and see us!



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