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I got the line edits for Almost Like Magic (my WIP) back from my FABULOUS editor Amy Howard yesterday, perfect timing for a nanny day! So I’m hiding from Double Trouble at the library. I’m hoping to get through all of them by the end of the month and then send the manuscript off to the three agents who requested pages at the PNWA writers conference last month.

Oh, wait … you mean, you aren’t all writers? And you’re scratching your heads over some of the above phrases?

Nanny day = the time I get to myself to run errands, make appointments, and most importantly, to write; in other words, keep my sanity days :)  (also, it is seriously cute when Double Trouble chases after me, signing and saying, “Mama, wok! Mama, wok!”

Double Trouble = Twin toddler boys who, so far, claim me as mama

WIP = Work In Progress, or whatever the hell I happen to be working on, rarely only one thing.

Agent = the people who hold some of the keys to my future as a writer.

Line edit = Hmmm … this might require a little more explanation … So, there are three main types of editing in a writer’s world (at least from my POV):

Line edit/proof read = Kind of what it sounds like. The editor goes line by line and looks for all the grammar errors and typos. The depth of the changes may vary by editor and your agreement with them. So some sentence structure and character issues might be pointed out as well. Or at least places that made your editor pause or come out of the story. This type of editing should be done last, like just before you’re ready to start submitting to agents or small publishers.

Copy edit = The middle child of the edits. It’s a little of this and a little of that. But still helpful. It tends to be less in depth than a dev edit, though the editor might still point out plot or character issues, but more for reader clarity. Sentence structure and better ways to get your point across are also looked at (i.e. can you use one word  instead of five, or hey, you used that word six times in one paragraph). Also, grammar and other typos might be corrected at this point. It depends on which draft it is and how close the writer is to being done (pause here for laughter! Like writers are EVER really done!)

Developmental edit = An in depth dive into plot, characters, motivations, all the good meaty stuff that makes up a story. This is usually done during an early draft, maybe the second or third, and helps you find all the weaknesses (and strengths) in your work before you get too far into it.

I cannot praise my editor enough (and I’ve had more than one across all my years as a writer – you know who you are …), and encourage all writers to hire someone to at least do a line edit on anything before you start sending it out to agents or small presses. And ESPECIALLY before you self publish. Because let’s face it, your novel is your baby, and you are too damn close to see the flaws! And I promise, they’re there, and your readers will find them. And they will call you out on them. So take the time and a few bucks to hire a good editor and make your manuscript shine.

OK, that’s enough procrastination from me … back to the edits.