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Line Editing

The level of attention to detail required for line by line editing of your own work is staggering. A lot of writers I talk to say they use a professional service for this. It’s good to have someone else’s eyes look for errors. But you know what you meant to say, even if you accidentally left out a comma or a “the,” or if you really don’t know the difference between there and their. Professional editing helps a lot. It also costs a lot of money.

I was a copy editor at a newspaper once, so I know what to look for and how to find mistakes.

My wife suggested I look into becoming a professional editor of books. To humor her, I looked up what the existing services charge. For a 100,000 word novel it’s typically $400 – $1,000, depending on the service and what you want them to do. Some just read and mark your errors. But they’re willing to take more of your money to make corrections or suggest improvements. They typically promise a turn around time of about a week to two weeks.

I can’t imagine reading an unedited manuscript in a week. Week after week. I don’t know how high school and college instructors can do it, trudging through page after page of poorly-written papers.

I can barely tolerate line editing my own work.

But it has to be done.


3 thoughts on “Line Editing

  1. Pingback: The Process of Writing a Novel | The Creative Revolution

  2. That would be the worst part of being a professional editor, you wouldn’t be able to choose what you did, and you’d get a lot of horrible manuscripts. Just proofreading wouldn’t be too bad, but you get into serious rewriting problems and it suddenly becomes a huge deal. Over here in Korea, I get asked to check people’s English compositions (or theses) a lot and sometimes it’s a nightmare.

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