Good question! Okay so as part of the writing tips I want to share here and there, this one came to me last month after writing, editing and proof reading two books to release. I’m not an expert, I don’t claim to be one, I would never swap my role as a writer for an editor. This is my take and advice on what I’ve learned. Let’s get into it!
To me editing comes before proof reading. This is the natural progression I follow when I write. Write, edit, edit, edit, proof read, then proof read!
What is Editing?
To me once I’ve wrote the last word, in the last chapter, on the last page, in the last paragraph I’m ready to edit. I don’t edit as I write. Why? Personally… I’ll never get any writing done. I’m a hardcore editor of my own work before I put it in front of my actual editor. If I spend to much time on this I’ll never create, so I don’t do it until I’m done writing.
Personally what I do is read through my work checking for these things in general:
- Consistency in names, places, dates, times.
- Plot holes.
- Tense, spelling, use of English etc.
- That I am happy with the storytelling, build, heat, crime scene, suspense, all that jazz. It’s as I want it to be told.
- Check facts. I often use real places and events when writing.
- Character development, I like to make them pop as best I can and not be flat.
My aim: to ensure it’s accurate factually, consistent. (Hopefully) no one will read it and go huh?.. What Kim?
What is Proof Reading?
In my view once I’ve got my work cleaned up, and my characters stand out, it’s then time to proof read it. My focus is not on the nitty gritty above, as all this is as best as I can get it. It’s now time to read through my work and check the flow of the story also see if I can spot a missed full stop, capital letter the minor details that make me shriek in a high pitched voice, what’s that b*tch typo doing there?? 🙂 . I’ll proof read maybe a day or two after I’ve done the edit(s). Then hand to my editor to look over. She then works her red pen magic, and hands me back my work with her personal edit and proof read. I also send a rough copy to my Beta Readers at the same time, they come back with comments…. the whole process of correction (edit) proof read starts again based on what I get back!
Aim: Personally, proof reading for me is to pick up the minor things and polish up, check the flow.
So what’s the difference Kim? You’re doing the same thing.
Yes and smarty pants! To me the edit is more focused and I really cut up my work, chop scenes, add scenes, develop characters and plot. I don’t do that in a proof read, as this is already done. The proof read is to check what I’ve done in edit makes sense to me, and hopefully you… and there is logic, it’s readable.
Do You Really Need To Do Both? Can’t The Editor Do it?
Like I said when I posted a tip on how to find an editor and who should editor your work, you can read it here, editors don’t write the best sellers, page turners or five star rated books writers do. Personally, as a writer I feel it’s my work, don’t be lazy. My advice and personal view is don’t fall back on only your editor, or Beta Readers to write that page turning five star book, you do the work. Wanna write? Good …Writing = editing= proof reading= your A-game = happy readers hopefully= some five star reviews hopefully. You do the math, still not convinced you should do a bit of DIY, and not leave it all in the hands of an editor? Great glad you agree 🙂 .
I’ll see you soon with another tip! Happy writing.