What is it? Why do only some editors offer it and some don't? If its not always offered, is it necessary? Isn't it the same as a content edit? Yes and no.
The Line Edit- What is it?
In its truest form, a line edit is the completion of a content edit. A line edit is an extremely focused and detailed look at individual sentences and lines. It is a content edit of specific lines and paragraphs.
A content edit fixes issues requiring you to look at full pages and scenes at a time. For more on what a content edit is, visit my post The content edit: What it is and why it should be your first edit. After erasing and rearranging and rewriting, you need to do another kind of content edit fine tune the details to help complete the content edit.
Things We Look for: Line Edit vs Content Edit
Hi friends! If you're new to the publishing world (indie pub or traditional), You're likely overwhelmed with the "afterward". You've thrown up a jumbled mess onto some pages and then labored over every single word until it was absolutely correct (and then second guessed yourself a few times), and now you can't do anymore to your piece without going insane or throwing up. (*Deep breath*) Enter Editors.
Oh don't roll your eyes at me, I know. The LAST thing you want right now is someone else pouring over your work with more critiques. But, do you want a successful book or not?Because I contend that every book needs an editor. Even small e-books could use a good copyedit.
So what's the first kind of edit you should look for?.
The Content Edit
So a content edit is the very first edit you should definitely look for. Content edits cover the "overview" of the book as a whole, covering topics such as plot, character development, tone, and world-building. This is NOT as detailed as a line or copy edit because it looks at the main issues and not each individual line. However, it is super detailed about the overall effect of your book. After choosing an editor, this is the first edit you will receive. The main points of the story have to be fixed before the small details can be ironed out or else things become very unproductive.
The questions is not whether you should self edit or not, because I'm sure, for many of you, that's a given. In fact, I can't imagine writing something and not constantly rethinking my word choices. There is, however, one thing I have to stress.
\Hello Friends! I had to use 3 tries just to spell the word "friends". (P.S. I just spelled it wrong again.) Ah... this day... But, I've got my Bulletproof coffee about halfway in my system. I'll be ready to roll here pretty soon! (By the way, if you haven't heard of Bulletproof coffee, its the most delicious coffee filled with coconut oil and grass-fed butter. Its super frothy and super healthy for your brain.)
Today I'm sitting down to search for buried treasure. Searching each and every submission for hidden potential is both exhausting and completely satisfying. After a few hours, there comes the brain fog, my eyes start to water, and I desperately need to stand up and walk around a bit, but if I've found my next project, it was absolutely worth it! (Click here for tips on writing your own query and here for synopsis tips)
The last few days of submission searching has been full of female protagonists who shoot flames (or energy, or lasers, etc.) out of their palms. *Deep breath* its going to be okay. (PS if you wrote a book with this trope, I highly recommend you change it. It's a bit over done. But that's just one editors opinion. Feel free to take your chances. who knows who might pick it up.). Speaking of tropes, I'm hoping for a good romance. Follow all the cheesy tropes that make us happy and include some scifi elements. I'm talking reverse harem, rich boy meets only slightly pretty poor girl with a spunky attitude, Add in a rich snob that the rich boy can reject for the poor girl. The more cheese the better! I need it. #mswl
By the way I highly recommend The Crazy Asians Trilogy. It will soon be a movie!
Well wish me luck today! And let me know what romance tropes are your favorite!
Anyone can ‘label’ themselves a writer. Of any sort of material. At any time. It's as simple as that. It is not, however, simple to be a serious writer.
While aiming for a successful career in writing, be aware of the reputation you are building and creating for yourself. It is far too easy to accidentally fall into ill repute. it is hard to reel back from it. Undoing certain damages is nearly impossible; rectifying one's self is never easy. What is easy, though, is creating a solid, proficient repute. A successful creative writer will utilize more than one self-marketing method while branding themselves. Remember you are always branding yourself, whether it is intentional or not.
The next handful of actions will help you on your journey.
First, understand that social-networking sites are one of your best friends. The world of writing can be a tough and highly competitive field of work. At times, it can even seem completely cutthroat. You can take advantage of social-networking sites by creating connections worldwide, both quickly and efficiently. Using these types of sites will allow you to better connect with your readers by sharing samples, up-coming news, and links to other works you have created. Utilize all the internet tools; use them to your advantage. Here is a great article on how to use twitter to your advantage: How to Get Noticed on Twitter — 15 Tips for Writers.
The setting of your story is one of three very key components. The setting itself, if written correctly, is practically a character on its own. It lives and breaths, and contains just the right amount of soul. The happenings that occur in and around the settings will prove to sway and influence different characters and events.
Know Your Setting Well.
Setting is the backdrop or place where your characters and stories unfold. Many different aspects can make up the setting. This is the when and where that your characters will be developing in. By changing and utilizing your settings, you have more insight and control over your character building; hence why ALL of this ties together so well in the end.
While brainstorming on setting details you should not be surprised to find that it can be built in nearly the same manner as the actual characters. You have to take the time to learn and know the setting you want to use. Think of how well you know your hometown, or where you grew up. You can envision all the particulars, right down to the last detail, in your mind. You can see and notice the things that so typical as well as the things that distinguish it from any other ole place. That’s how well you want to know the setting that is to be portrayed in your writing. Once you’ve imagined the environment and circumstances inside it, the words will begin to run down the paper faster than spilled ink. You will be able to create a steady flow.
Bring the Setting to Life
So you want to perfectly communicate to your audience that image in your mind’s eye, right? Get it out of your mind, and let it flow down through your fingertips and into your keys. Writing a description with such vividness can be a daunting task contributing to the writer's block epidemic that's ravaging the fiction writer world as we speak. Often, what stares back at us from the computer screen is either blank or not quite right. And unfortunately, we can't crumble up a computer and throw it in the trash with a satisfactory swish. Because well, it would crunch and not swish and unfortunately we still need our computer. The good news is there are some simple ways to help you use that beautiful writer imagination of yours. Because really, the last thing your reader wants to venture into is the deep abyss of dull imagery translation. Not to mention, it's just not enjoyable to write that way. There is something missing amidst all this brain chatter and it all boils down to one very important fiction writing tip.
Imagery is the language that poets, novelists and a slew of other writers use to create moving images in the mind of the reader. An easy way to fully capture your reader’s attention is to write so vividly they feel as though they are waltzing right on through the story, right beside the characters. One of the greatest example I have of this is Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. That book made me feel so dirty I had an illogical obsession with showers every time I finished reading a chunk. Everything in the book is covered in dust, soot, and grease. Train cars are full of stuffy velvet I can almost smell. Heat from their oil lamps made my nose feel dry. That's how unbelievably vivid that book is. Writing with that intensity ought to be every fiction writers goal. With out this ferocity, even the most thrilling or compelling plot will fall flat on its back. Like a turtle. Or a flopping fish. There are many different splits, junctures, and hairpin bends in the road that make up the schema of imagery.
Language is a peculiar thing. It is fluid and organic, always changing and evolving. You can say the same thing using a different set of words. Tweaking your word choice can attach a different connotation to the particular phrase. Unfortunately, this makes it easy to have fillers and meaningless words in our writing without even knowing it. We need to learn to spot these filler words so we can tweak them into exactly what we mean to say exactly how we want to say them. Each word is important. Don’t let fillers sabotage the robustness of your idea! Here is a self editing (for fiction) checklist of words to watch.
‘Said’ is one of the most overused words in reported speech. Oh how I loathe this word. I realize my distaste is a bit subjective but for the editors who don’t mind the word still report it as being overused. This word is so ingrained in our writing dating back to those elementary school short stories. There are several descriptive words that you can use instead of “said”. For example, exclaimed, replied, retorted, and whispered and a million others.
An even better option is to rewrite your sentence having cut the word out completely and replace the word with an action.
Instead of: “You shut your fat, ugly face, ya backstabbing hussy!” Natzu said.
Try this: “You shut your fat, ugly face, ya backstabbing hussy!” Natzu grabbed Gray’s shirt and threw him across the mess hall.
See how I completely shaped a story out of a few words just by replacing the word said? You can add so much to your story by replacing this word. And yes, I stole Natzu and Gray from Fairy Tale, my favorite Anime. You should watch it.
What is a Believable Character?
More often than not, one of the main entrees of fictional, and even non-fictional, writings is the characters that make up the story. Bon Appetit! The best way to capture a reader’s hawk-like eyes and lure them into the depths of your wonderful pages is to create an engaging, lovable character. Someone familiar. Someone who, maybe, ‘wears their heart on their sleeve’. Here are a few things you should focus on in order to create a believable, genuine character for each adventure you key into paragraphs.
1. Character Coherence and Consistency
There are many ways to build up a believable character. One main focus should be on designing the character with a hint of coherence and consistency. While staying consistent with your character development, you begin to draw out its ‘voice’. A character that is coherent will display both the elements of personality and behavior in a way that the reader will fully grasp and understand.
2. Internal/External Changes
An intriguing character may also be called a ‘Round Character’. A round character is a character that has depth. Your character should undergo internal and external changes to better translate its entire expanse. Changes, both internal and external, should be portrayed in a relatable manner, even if the reader may never have stepped foot in those proverbial shoes.