What To Do After You’ve Written Your Manuscript?

Photo by Lubos Houska

Mark Twain said, “writing was easy all you have to do is cross out all the wrong words.” That’s one of the jobs of an editor. That’s what we are going to talk about today. What do editors do? An editor reviews and revises a manuscript (book, blog post, or other pieces of writing) by breaking it down page by page, line by line, and word by word. To review elements like grammar clarity accuracy and content to make sure that the manuscript is ready to move to the next level, and closer to being published.

A manuscript can go through four types of editors before being published. The types of editors are Developmental, Line editing, Copy editing, and proofreading.

Some editors will do more than one type of editing while others will do only one type of editing. Typically, Developmental editing is done first. Developmental editing looks at the structure of the story or manuscript. It considers the big picture things that may ruin a reader’s experience. A developmental editor will do a thorough review of the entire manuscript including elements of writing from individual words and sentences to overall structure and style. In fiction, this edit will also address any issues related to plot and characterization. Good developmental editing will remember genre standards and expectations and will prepare your manuscript for a copy edit, line edit, and proofreading Editors.

A copy editor would be next in line to look at your manuscript. Copy editing is the act of fine-tuning the text of a manuscript. A copy edit will look at things like grammatical and punctuation errors, incorrect facts, anomalies, inconsistencies, and glaring typos. The overall purpose of copy editing is to ensure that the language supports the writer’s intent while also creating the most readable version of their manuscript. Professional copy editors can make sure that your manuscript isn’t riddled with bad grammar, spelling mistakes, or glaring inconsistencies.

After you have your manuscript copy edited, its time for a line edit. Line editors polish the manuscript even more. Line editing focuses on how the writer is communicating ideas by analyzing the construction of your writing closely, usually line by line. It examines the building blocks of the manuscript sentence construction, paragraphs, pages, and sentences to ensure these components are working together. The process makes the writing tighter and the manuscript stronger. It helps strengthen your story’s flow, clarity, and voice, exploring questions about writing construction.

Before a manuscript is ready to become part of an irretrievable part of history, it’s a good idea to proofread. Working with a proofreader is the final stage of the editing process to ensure your manuscript is ready to go to press or electronic media.  A proofreader will step in and double-check everything. They’ll make sure the manuscript is free from spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and other mistakes that could spoil a reader’s enjoyment.

Each step along the editorial process can be done more than one time if necessary and can be done by a professional or by the writer or both. Depending on the writer’s critical skills and knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills. Some writers may choose not to do each piece of the editorial process. You know your writing strengths and weaknesses and you may not need each type of professional help. Understanding the services of each type of editor can help you choose the service to make your manuscript shine.

The cost of editing services varies depending on experience, but lack of experience does not mean that you will receive poor quality service some editors who are just starting offer great service because they are just starting editing depends more on the critical skills of the individual especially if they have been trained in an academic situation and been writing for a long time. So keep in mind a new editor may be a great way to save money.

“ Most of writing is editing. It is the responsibility of the author to provide the reader with the best material possible,” Harry Heckle.

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2 thoughts on “What To Do After You’ve Written Your Manuscript?

  1. Ugh, the editing part is what I hate most in the writing process, but it’s a necessary evil, especially seeing how I can’t afford an editor. Anyway, great post here. Thanks for sharing!


    1. It’s tough to come up with the money for professional editing for sure, but I implore you to find a way, it’s the most important thing. Like I said, you can find an editor who is just starting out who will do a good job for a couple of hundred dollars on Fiver. A professional copy edit is a step you shouldn’t miss.



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