A novel is never written alone. It really takes a village. One person in my village was Thelma Mariano who did both the content and line editing of my manuscript.
Content Editing in which Thelma provided help with structural issues, pointing out problems in the manuscript and making suggestions related to point of view, info dumps, pacing, showing versus telling, an imbalance of inner/outer conflict and lack of story tension, improper sequencing, flaws in character motivation and credibility as well as portrayal, areas needed (or containing unnecessary) description or sensory details, setting, plot holes, inconsistencies, discrepancies and implausibility’s, unnatural or unnecessary dialogue. Thelma also brainstormed solutions with me to fix content issues.
I particularly appreciated the brainstorming with Thelma. It made me feel that we were partners. At one point Thelma wrote:
I couldn’t sleep last night (must stop working in bed, my mind kept going)…but this morning I woke up with fresh ideas! I hope you’ll agree, because this would make the scene come alive, strengthen Felicity’s character AND ties in with the plot as well…
The work was to be accomplished in three parts (approximately one-third of the content in each part). Upon receipt of the text for Part 1,2, or 3, The Editor will review the manuscript and provide guidance to The client on Content as indicated above. The client will then incorporate these changes and send a revised version back to The Editor.
Working like this was very motivating for me. It provided me a concrete deadline and someone to bounce off ideas on.
At this point, The Editor will perform a Line Editing as described below and send the client an electronic version of the text, highlighting revised or added text.
Line Editing –revise the manuscript for better story flow, adding text where writing is choppy or incomplete as well as streamlining sentences; revising for clarity; eliminating awkwardness; improving word choices; removing redundancies and repetitions; correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation.
This entire process took about three very intensive weeks.
THELMA MARIANO is an author of women‘s contemporary fiction who is now offering her services as a freelance editor. You can find her at www.thelmamariano.com.
Thank you Thelma for such a professional and thorough editing job and for elevating my novel.