Getting To Mr. Right: The Editing Process

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

Thank you Thelma for such a professional and thorough editing job and for elevating my novel.

Getting To Mr. Right is now available on Amazon.

24 thoughts on “Getting To Mr. Right: The Editing Process

  1. Working with an editor is so important. A keen, objective eye is invaluable and definitely worth the money. Glad you had such a great experience. Your novel reflects that.


  2. Thanks for sharing part of the writing process for Getting to Mr. Right, Carol. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Sounds like you picked the right person to help with this part of the writing journey, that’s great. 🙂


  3. What a great way to describe it; as taking a village. It is a great process working with an editor as I’ve just found out. They have that bit of distance that we don’t. Invaluable.


  4. Congrats on finding a great editor you can work with. That’s not always easy. I was fortunate to find two. 🙂
    All the best with your book. I really enjoyed it!


  5. Just bought my copy now. My acting teacher talks about how athletes work with coaches, so why not artists? I fully agree. I have been working with someone as well. It makes such a difference. Congratulations again. Look forward to reading.


  6. Thanks for sharing your editing process here Carol. As writers we know how important this is and you’ve given us a deep insight as to what exactly an editor can do for our books. ❤ Looking forward to starting this book any day now! 🙂


  7. I’m planning on using the same editor for content and line editing. Have you found it more informative to use different editors? And how about the cost? I would think the cost would be a little more using separate editors? Please bear with me, Carol. I’m new at writing for publication.


    • Glynis,
      That’s a really interesting question you’ve asked. My opinion is that you should use the same editor for both content and line editing simply because the editor knows your work.
      Cost varies. I can’t really give you a precise answer on that.All I can say is that a good editor is not cheap. You might want to have a look at
      I don’t think the cost would be more using separate editors because they normally charge either by the hour or by word. But sometimes, you can get a package deal.
      Good luck, Glynis, and keep in touch with your writing. 🙂


  8. Thanks for being so open and informative about your editing process. I really enjoy hearing how other authors assemble the resources to put their books together. Sounds like you have a great team! I really like your cover as well.


    • Thanks for commenting and stopping by my blog. I truly appreciate it.
      I also like my cover. I had a super graphic artist do it.
      You’re right…it does take a team. Which is good because writing can be a pretty lonely activity!


  9. Ugh. The editing process–so crucial to have the right team, Carol, and I think you made that abundantly clear. I’ve had some great partners and some that made the experience one that was akin to a daily dental visit for tooth extraction. Currently, I have a team–and I love them all to death. There’s so much positivity and excitement in the process when you have the right people doing the tasks they’re best at.
    A great post, Carol!


    • It is difficult to find the team you click with – a team who gets what you’re trying to do. Especially not one that makes you feel like you’re getting your teeth extracted!

      Thanks for stopping by and for your insightful comment! 🙂


  10. Pingback: Back in the Groove | Carol Balawyder

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