A couple of folks have asked me on the Intarwebz today what the difference is between line editing and copyediting, and so I thought that might make an amusing blog post topic. So here you go, an overview of what’s been going on with Vengeance of the Hunter over the last few months.
At Carina, editing is done in three overall phases: developmental edits, line edits, and copyedits.
Developmental edits are what happens when the editor asks you to address issues at the big-picture level. These will include fixing things broken with the overall plot structure, perhaps even rewriting a considerable amount of the book if necessary.
Line edits pull the scope in from the overall structure of the book to a tighter focus. At the line edit stage, you may be adding scenes to address anything not already adequately developed, but you won’t be rewriting huge swaths of the book. You’ll also be sometimes be rearranging word choices, adding or deleting things as necessary, to tighten up the overall flow of the prose.
Copyedits are pretty much straight up proofreading, and that’s done by a copyeditor, not the primary editor. At this point, the copyeditor is looking for typos that you or your primary editor may have missed, and may be asking questions about some of your word choices. But the primary goal here is not to get you to rewrite sentences, just to hunt for any misspelled, forgotten, or superfluous words. Or, anything that goes against Carina’s overall style guide for its authors (e.g., avoid using semicolons in dialogue).
Vengeance of the Hunter, as of this writing, has gone through these major phases:
- First raw draft
- Developmental edits, in which I rewrote the first several chapters, rearranged what characters were involved through pretty much the entire latter half of the book, and rewrote the ending
- Line edits, round 1, in which I reordered the flow of a few of the scenes at the beginning and dropped in a new chapter break; added three brand new scenes in the latter half of the book; rejiggered a scene in the climax, and dropped in another chapter break; and rewrote the tail end of two scenes in the final chapter
- Line edits, round 2, in which I swept through a lot of line edits mostly involving the new material added in the previous round, but also removed a scene break to improve the immediacy of the action in the climax, and stuck in a new line to make it clearer that a minor character is in fact female
Next up will be copyediting, as described above.
And meanwhile, I’m awaiting word on the cover art and the blurb copy. Once I have these I’ll be able to put up an official page for the book!
This thing is getting close to release state. Internets, I AM EXCITE, as all the cool kids say.
Stick with me. On April 28, 2014, the Hunter will seek his vengeance.