The line editing process is quite long, and most traditionally published authors do this themselves. No publishing service wishes to tie up valuable editing dollars on something that an author should do to polish their books. Indie and self-published authors may choose to pay for this service. Great, if you do, get the editor to do a sample edit first so they can quote you properly and you know if you like their style.
We’ve discussed removing weasel words, reading the manuscript backwards, using a grammar app, and having the computer read the manuscript to you. Here are some other hints.
- Change the font for one version
- Limit editing sessions to an hour with a break in between
- Leave the manuscript for a week between editing rounds
- Start in random places (but be careful you don’t miss anything)
- Focus on one aspect at a time (one pass might be tense issues, and you only work on tense issues)
- Use comments or highlights to mark noted issues for the next pass
- Assume you will do multiple passes of line edits
- Create a style guide for character names, place names etc., so that you can double-check when you forget if it’s Lilly or Lily.
Send us a comment if you do anything else that’s not on this list.