Saturday, January 7, 2017

How Much Do You Know About the Different Levels of Editing? Time to learn more now...

A Note from S.J. Francis:
     Hello again one and all. How is every one out there in media land? Well? I hope so. Beginning this month, you are going to notice something a bit different about my blog. After three and a half years of presenting different authors each month, I've decided to change that. Instead of me writing more about writing, I figured I'd just share what others have already shared. Every now and then I read something that reaches out and grabs me and sharing on social media just doesn't seem to be enough. As a result, I've decided to share what I found here on my writing blog. From now on, I'm going to promote a writer every other month and share a useful post in between. Hopefully, you approve of the changes. Hopefully, you will learn something from the posts. Please feel free to share with others. Most of all, feel free to leave a comment down below. And thanks again for visiting and sharing what you find. It is greatly appreciated. Coming to my blog next month for the month of February is memoir writer and avid traveler Susan Joyce. 
     Now it's time to go forward....
     When compared to editing, writing is a really easy step.  When writing a story or article, the words just flow. Not so much when in the editing phase. Editing is cutting up your "baby" to pieces in order to make it better. Making it fantastic for the reader. How many levels of editing are there? Here's time to learn. As a writer, I learn something new everyday.  Whether it is in research or in just writing, I never stop learning. The same goes with editing.  Editing is a learning experience and for some writers a never ending one. When writing just short stories, articles and interviews, one type of edit was all my writing needed. Not so with books. Read on for more, courtesy of the Florida Writer's Association, which I happen to be a member of.
Until next month, stay safe. Be happy!
S.J. Francis 

 Levels of Editing

 by Mary Ann de Stefano |  posted in: Editing & Revision |  0 / Pixabay

If you’re hiring an editor to look at your manuscript, it’s important to understand that there are a variety of editorial services available to you. They range from providing help to develop a book concept to polishing a fully formed work. All levels of editing are not typically done concurrently, and editors generally specialize.

When you’re self-editing, you won’t draw lines between levels of editing. It’s a fluid process. But when you hire an editor, you want to be sure to find someone who is proficient in the kind of editing your manuscript requires. For example, if you’re still unsure about issues like plot or character development, you want to hire an editor who knows how to give you big-picture feedback. And it would be a waste of money and effort to have your manuscript copyedited when it is—or should be—still in a state of flux.

Here are some definitions of editorial skills:

Developmental Editing

  • Provides big-picture direction to help the author form a vision for the book (may include market research)\
  • Suggests content and organization
  • May suggest restructuring of a manuscript
  • Coaches the author to ensure that vision is successfully executed

Content Editing

  • Provides detailed notes in the form of a “manuscript evaluation” or “editorial letter”
  • In fiction, addresses big-picture issues such as plot, setting, characters, pacing, point of view, style, and appropriateness for genre
  • In nonfiction, addresses clarity, clear and logical flow of your ideas, consistency, style, and effectiveness for genre

Substantive & Stylistic (Line) Editing

  • Editor works directly on the manuscript
  • Clarifies or organizes and presentation of content
  • Flags or suggests rewrites at the chapter, paragraph, and sentence levels


  • Focuses on mechanical issues including: spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage, while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text
  • Checks for and imposes consistent style and facts
  • Prepares a style sheet that documents style and formatting decisions
  • May do fact-checking


  • Checks proofs of an edited manuscript.

Terminology varies and these definitions are not comprehensive. They are meant to help you think about the kind of editing your manuscript might need and are a starting point as you search for an editor who can help you achieve your vision for your work.

About the Author

writer, editor, website designer

Mary Ann is the editor of The Florida Writer (the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association) and MAD’s Monday Muse. She is also a writer, editor, and organizer of writing workshops with 30+ years experience in publishing and writing consulting. Besides working one-to-one with writers who are developing books, she designs author websites.

Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!


S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 

Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.

                     Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievment Awards for Women's Fiction.

                    Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.

                     Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.  

                     Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.

                     Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.

                     The 2nd, new cover for Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 2016 Authors db Best Cover Contest. 

                     The first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest. 

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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2017 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.