• CJ Hawthorne

Edits for days...

What types of editing do you need?

Heyo! This week, I thought I’d detail the different types of editing and why you need them for your book. But before I do that, an announcement! The cover art for my book, Exodus, should be done in just a few weeks from now! I’m really excited for the result, and I can’t wait to show it to y’all!

Now, on to editing. There are three types of editing a manuscript will usually got through: developmental, line, and copy edits. Of course, before all that, there’s a certain level of self-editing that can, and should, go into your draft. Have friends and beta readers go through your manuscript, get their insights, and read through it yourself to catch any obvious mistakes. Then, the fun begins.


Developmental editing is the first and most general type of editing your manuscript should go through. It covers the big stuff: plot points, character arcs, the overall development of your story. It mostly involves re-writing and revising scenes of your novel, or, in more drastic cases, entire chapters or sections. This is the most time consuming stage of editing, and usually comes first. No use in editing lines that you may end up deleting or re-writing anyway.


Line editing takes into account your style and the way your language communicates to the reader. A line editor will comb your manuscript for sentence structure and offer ways to make things as clear as possible to your readers. While they aren’t as intensive as a copy edit, line edits are a useful and usually necessary part of the editing process.


And finally, copy edits! Copy editing is what you might immediately think of when editing comes to mind: a thorough comb through your novel for grammar mistakes, spelling, punctuation, and of those little typos that can easily be missed. This is the final stage of editing which will take you into the last drafts of your novel. These edits go by pretty quickly, and once you finish with them, you’re well on your way to your draft being a fully functional manuscript!

There you have it, three types of editing that are essential to any book’s development! If you are being traditionally published, the publishing company should have its own editors to work with your novel. If you are self publishing, you can enlist family friends to beta readers to make suggestions, and find professional editors on sites such as Reedsy and Fiverr. Either way, it’s good practice to do some self-editing beforehand. Don’t underestimate the good that putting in some work of your own can do for your manuscript. I hope this helps, and have a great week, y’all!

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