Tuesday 15 January 2019

Join editor, Grace Augustine, for some fabulous tips on how to edit your book #amwriting #amediting #IARTG @mallidalli

Editing tips with Grace

Edits with a touch of Grace

You’ve just written “THE END” on the last page of your manuscript. Now what?
The first thing I suggest you do is run your work through the grammar and spell check portion of Word. If you don’t use that program, then find another equally as good. It may not catch all the errors, but that is what the next step is for.
Read your manuscript out loud. It will help you catch errors as you read it. I know it sounds silly, but it really works!

Find an editor who fits with the genre you write. It’s important the editor understand the genre and your voice in your manuscript. It is the editor’s job to maintain your voice as the author and creator of your work of art.
Once the editor finishes his/her job, the manuscript will be returned to you. Please, do not use the editor’s copy as your published copy. The editor’s copy that is returned to you is for your use, for you to see the errors or changes that need to be made on your original manuscript. There are chances if you decide to use the editor’s corrected copy as your published copy, that you will not be able to remove all the editor’s marks. That will cause undue stress to you when someone leaves a review stating there were words such as “attach this sentence to the former paragraph.” Use your original manuscript to make changes and corrections, please.
You should have on board 2-4 beta readers…friends willing to proofread your work before you send it to your editor. You ask…why? Because editing isn’t just about proofreading…but proofreaders may catch what Word doesn’t and it will help your editor spend less time on little things and concentrate on your complete story. Proofreaders catch the double spaces at the ends of sentences, the misplaced comma, the lack of a capital letter. HINT: the best way to proofread is to read each sentence backwards. I know that sounds crazy, but it works.

I began editing because I couldn’t handle reading all the books with errors. Each book I picked up had errors: sometimes missing words, sometimes missing paragraphs, sometimes transitions to get from one place to another, sometimes character names were wrong.
I’ve categorized editing into 3 categories. I’m sure there are many others, but for me, this works—historical, technical, and general.
As an editor, I copy editing in line (meaning I write corrections and my suggestions directly on the manuscript.) I look for errors with paragraph transitions, check verb tenses, timelines, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. That is because I consider myself a general editor…one who edits romance, suspense, mystery, and all forms of fiction. I do not fact check.
I know all these terms have your head spinning by now. Let’s break them down so you see the differences.


A copy editor deals with grammar and punctuation and over all written communication. Very little of this is a judgment call…it is following the rules of written language.


A line editor pays attention to structure of sentences and paragraphs, sentence flow, word choices, voice, style, and moving the story forward.


This is all about storytelling…your plot structure, your character development, tension, pacing, and truth. Truth is the art of storytelling.


This is a totally different type of editing. This is finding someone who is in your same field of interest, someone who knows what you are writing about better than you do. This is fact checking, making sure sites quoted are correct, verifying information set out in tables and graphs, checking foreign languages. It takes a special person to do this type of editing.

Hiring an independent editor to work with you and walk you through your manuscript will do much more for you than attending any conference to learn editing on your own. A good editor will be available to be beside you throughout the editing experience, answer any questions you may have, and explain why the corrections and suggestions were made.

It is not a good idea to edit your own work. By the time you are finished writing your story, more times than not, the last thing you want to do is read it one more time. I guarantee you will miss things that can either make or break your published manuscript.

Until next time, may your writing muse grant many good words to you. 

Edits With A Touch Of Grace

Edits With a Touch of Grace is committed to helping you achieve perfection one word at a time with your manuscript. I have many years of experience from copy editing in the newspaper business to putting out error free church newsletters and weekly bulletins.

Please contact me and let’s discuss how I can help you achieve your manuscript goals.  

Signed contracts must be received and editing fee paid (via PayPal or personal check) before work begins on your manuscript. Fee schedule will be provided to interested clients after initial contact.
**Proofreading (includes grammar and punctuation only)
**Full Editing (includes grammar, composition, paragraph transitions, story congruity, and deep line edits.)

If you are interested in ordering one of these services, you may reach me through my email  graceau57@gmail.com Please use this reference code: 
MA2019 in initial correspondence.

I look forward to working with you.


  1. I loved your tips, Grace, especially the one about reading a sentence backwards. I do a lot of copyediting (day job) and will definitely use it. When editing, I always read aloud. It's much easier to spot errors, slow pacing, etc. when read aloud.

    1. Thank you so much, Mrs. N.N. Yes, reading aloud helps so much if it's questionable. I've found I enjoy editing and helping other authors more than writing my own novels.


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx