Editing: My Post-Writing Process

Today, I’m going to take a break from my series of blogs on my Muse (don’t worry! I’ll pick it up next week with some final posts). I previously wrote a little bit about my writing process. Here’s another peek, taking a look at what happens after I finish writing the book. Because I’ll be doing some editing this weekend, I wanted to give everyone a quick background on my editing process since I’ll be talking about it in tomorrow’s blog.


I’m a self-published author (which means I publish the books myself, not through a publishing company; I’ll talk more about that in a future post). Nora Roberts, who is traditionally published, wrote a great blog post about her post-writing process. Self-published authors have varying processes after they finish writing. Here’s mine.

First up, after I finish a manuscript (or MS), it’s off to my developmental editor. I’ve usually gone through a few drafts on my own by then, but a developmental editor will tell me everything I did wrong (and right!) with the book, in regards to the plot, characters, storylines, etc. This process can take a month (or more). Then it’s up to me to polish it and fix anything that needs fixing. Sometimes a book needs major revisions, sometimes minor. I actually love this process, because it helps me become a better writer. This is why it’s crucial to find a good editor – mine is FABULOUS – who will point those things out and give you the tools to improve. If you show me what I’m doing wrong and give me some examples as to how to improve/correct my mistake, then I can work to fix it. That’s how a great editor can help you become a better writer.

Once the major edits are done, it’s time for other types of editing – line editing, copyediting, and/or proofreading. Line editors can fix larger scene issues and look at your writing as a whole, while copyeditors can look at word repetition, grammar issues, etc., and proofreaders just give your MS one last look for anything you (or others) might have missed. I don’t use a line editor right now, but I have a copyeditor – also FABULOUS – who gives my book it’s last real look. Some people have the same editors for all their needs. I have different editors for each need (developmental and copyediting) because I like having two sets of fresh eyes on the book. My copyeditor does double as my proofreader during those times I need one. I’d like to add a line editor one day, but that also adds time into the production of the book (and the cost of it as well). All in all, I’m happy with my setup right now.

So, are there mistakes, even after so many people have looked at the book? Yes. We are all humans who make human errors. We’ll miss grammatical errors or misspelled words or mistaken punctuation. It’s never intentional, and when a reader does let me know about those mistakes, I always do my best to correct it. I try to do yearly updates to my ebooks, to correct those small issues and any formatting issues that I might have missed (more on ebook formatting in a future post).

If you’re a writer, what kind of editors do you use? If you’re a reader, do you like learning more about the process? Comment on my blog post and let me know!

~xoxo Marianne

This is Post 18 of 100 as part of the #100DaysofMKAuthorLife

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