Book Editing

“Kathryn Agrell performed the role of content editor and copyeditor for my novel, It May Be Forever. I found that she was disciplined, professional, candid, and yet supportive. Kathryn was committed to the project (the story) beyond the bounds of our agreement or her fee. She devoted herself to making my manuscript as good as it could be. Its flaws are due to my own judgments. If I were writing another book, which I may, I would unhesitatingly request that Kathryn act as my editor.” – Author David Quinn

A book editor's first job is to read through an author's work and analyze it. Some of the questions asked are: Is the writing coherent? Is it consistent to the chosen point of view? Does the language fit the time the book is set in? Is the writing clear and concise?

Fiction and non-fiction writing have different criteria. Fiction deals with character development, plot points, story development. Non-fiction has to follow a logical order that will make sense to the reader. In both types of writing, the editor will weed out lazy words and clichés, so the writer's voice will be fresh and original.

The editor helps with restructuring and rewriting, and also will make copyediting corrections (punctuation, grammar, spelling, sentence structure).

Editing example

Author’s original:

This original scene was written from a character’s point of view named Jim. The scene needed to be changed to reflect the point of view of the character named Laban. (In the scene Laban is trying to frighten Jim.)

Jim’s POV:

Jim’s eyes widened at talk of the impending hazards of the trail, but he kept his fears to himself. He had no desire to show yellow in front of his employees. Jim had heard all the nasty stories back in Cheyenne – like the Metz family massacre of last year up in Red Canyon.  But the successful passage of so many others since had reassured him a bit. He promised himself he’d watch the horizons closely, and keep his Winchester repeater close at hand once they crossed the North Platte.

Edited version:

Changing to Laban’s POV:

Laban noticed Jim’s eyes widen at talk of the impending hazards of the trail. “You probably heard tell all them nasty stories when we was in Cheyenne, like the one about the Metz family massacre last year up in Red Canyon? Terrible thing.” Laban looked again at Jim in a kind of mock concern. “Not to worry, though. When you consider how many have made it through . . . it can set a man at ease. Course, I’d still fix my eye on that there horizon line and keep my Winchester close at hand.”