Editing Planting Hope

Breaking news: the winner of the March 2023 giveaway is Elita M, Queensland, Australia. Congratulations Elita.

I was sweating on edits for Planting Hope. I’ve already published two books with Inkspell Publishing, Taylor’s Law and Grace Under Fire—The Anderson Sisters, and developed a good working relationship with my editor. For Planting Hope, I was assigned a new editor and wasn’t sure what to expect. Everything was up for grabs again.

There are broad categories for the edits any book needs:

With thanks for definitions of the types of editing to publicly available advice from Tucker Max, Scribe Media & The Institute of Professional Editing & conversations with writing colleagues.

  • developmental editing occurs early in the process and helps you to organise your ideas, get the structure right, and make sure the book works. You can have this conversation without a finished book
  • evaluation or structural editing is still at a high level, looking at plot, structure, pace, characterisation, viewpoint, and narrative
  • with content editing you’re starting to get paragraph markups, pointing out errors or concerns in flow, construction and grammar, whether your voice is consistent, and the tone is right for your intended audience
  • line editing does what it says, looks at each line in your book to see if the words you choose tell the reader what you want them to know. A line editor might tighten your prose, identify clichés, and fix wonky sentences
  • copyediting is about spelling, punctuation, grammar mistakes, and making sure your book follows the relevant style guide—essentially UK or US English. Copyediting polishes your book to a shine
  • proofreading comes after your book has been professionally formatted; the last chance to pick up any errors.

Some editors combine the first three under the heading substantive editing. Other editors combine content and line editing.

So, there was I sweating on what my new editor might suggest. For the moment, I’d completely forgotten that I’d done a helluva lot of editing before submitting this manuscript to Inkspell Publishing.

I entered multiple competitions including competitions for the first 1,500 words, for the first chapter, for a synopsis, for the full manuscript, and even for the first kiss. I got good, bad, and constructive feedback and suggestions about areas for improvement, including layering of back story, characterisation or deep POV; even suggestions for online courses with different teachers I might learn from. I took some. For the first kiss competition, I was the readers’ choice at the end of the first round. I didn’t win that comp, but having readers choose me was a great incentive to keep working on the manuscript.

In 2019, I asked Lauren Clarke CREATINGink https//:www.creatingink.com for a beta report, a high-level report addressing plotline, characterisation, location and setting, and overall writing style.

When I won the 2019 NZ Pacific Hearts competition with Grace Under Fire, I chose to use my prize, a full edit by NZ editor, Lesley Marshall https://www.editline.com.nz for Planting Hope.

In 2020, I asked V I Peace for a content edit, email v@vipeace.ca or through her website www.vipeace.ca

My new editor has provided her edits—nothing worrisome in plot, pacing or characters, more a focus on a copy or line edit. So, I can thank a lot of people for getting me here. This edit has made me re-examine my manuscript differently and identify new areas for improvement, a better word choice, a shift in dialogue.

I so want this baby to succeed. There are a few reasons, but that’s a story for another day.

Find me on

You can also send me a message via the contact link on this site. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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