Friday, June 22, 2012

Writing: Line Edits

I've talked from time to time about the various types of editing an author does. The editorial letter, also called the macro- or substantive edit, covers the "big picture." In response to those, I've changed settings, sequences, and the names or sex of characters. I've even killed off one character (and never looked back). To me, the macro edit is the toughie. First I have to convince myself that the suggestions are good (they almost always are), then figure out how to implement them.

Next week I embark on the line edits for my next novel, Stress Test. I don't have those in hand right now, so I decided to give you examples taken from the line edits for my most recently published novel, Lethal Remedy.

p 13, delete redundant words from this sentence mid-way down the page:
…there’s a doctor at our medical center doing trials on an experimental drug that might work for Chelsea.
P 32, line 3, correct typo: …bit OF color….
P 37, next to last paragraph, toward the end, change to “…lots of INTEREST from the press.”  (already used attention right above it)
P 43, add a word: “…before she went into PROFOUND shock…”
P 53, names don’t match in last two paragraphs. Both should be “BRETT.”
As you can see, line editing is often just a case of accepting the changes suggested by the editor, although sometimes it morphs into a dialogue about whether the change is good or not. Hope you've enjoyed this inside look at the process. What publishing questions do you have? I'd love to address them here.

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