New school editors vs OG's
Hi, author babes & baes. I'm back this week with another IMPORTANT TOPIC. All the topics I discuss are important, but this is on another level of importance.
In 2014, when I first entered the literary world, one thing I learned very quickly was that the editors who were performing services for many of the black authors were overworked, underpaid, and underdeveloped in a lot of areas. Whatever level of expertise they were given or had, at times, were not indicative of how many manuscripts they'd edited. And, at times, it seemed as though they were doing one round of edits.
Turns out, THAT SHIT WAS TRUE!
Now, this is in no way to make anybody feel some type of way, but I have to tell it how I see it. There's always been a huge argument about what editors should and should not be doing. About how much work is too much for the editor to do, and how much work an author should be putting into their manuscript before and after they receive their first round of edits.
Before we get into all of that, let's talk about the different types of edits/editors and why you need them and how to use them.
The first thing to tackle are the different types of editors.
Line Editors- This person specifically goes line to line in your manuscript and helps you develop your voice, tone, removed wordiness, addresses awkward phrases/patches/sentences, and adjusts the flow of your story, line by line. This type of editor is typically seen in traditional publishing.
Copy Editors- This person handles the grammar. They're the spell-check person. They take on a small part of the line editor's job, but for the most part, it's their job to make sure your story sounds right, the inconsistencies are out of the way, they check for syntax errors, tone errors, etc. This person is more..."grammatically" driven than a line editor.
Content Editors- Or, what I like to call, a developmental editor, will not touch the grammar of your story. This person is almost...a glorified beta reader with more experience and gives a professional opinion versus a biased/reader opinion. This person takes your manuscript by the BALLS and checks for character development, plot holes, and makes sure your story actually makes sense developmentally.
Proofreaders- I can't say this enough. Unless your book has been edited professionally, you don't have anything to "proof", because it is a proofreader's job to catch what the EDITOR didn't catch. Not what YOU didn't catch, but what the EDITOR didn't. This person is the last set of eyes, typically, on a manuscript before sending it back to the author for their review.
These are four of the most common editors used in Fiction Writing.