Editing is the step that adds life to any piece of writing. It is the final step that every nonfiction and fictional piece of writing has to go through. Editing is an extensive process and is categorized into two major types. Some writers consider more than two types, but all the categories can be wrapped up into two major categories.
The two main types of editing involve copy editing and developmental editing. Both types have several sets of responsibilities that the editors have to fulfill in their respective domains. Let’s dive into the details of each type of editing to understand the process better:
1. Developmental Editing
Developmental editing is the type of editing that revolves around making the non-fiction content look appealing in terms of formatting while keeping the technical information precise and relatable. A freelance developmental editor removes and modifies any piece of information and works on a project or per-word basis.
The editor in this niche that works with fiction makes sure that there are no plot holes, no technical errors in the story, description, and clashes in the personality of the characters. They make sure that the story is free of any technical flaws when it comes to creative writing.
Things a Developmental Editor Does
Sometimes, editing can take longer than writing things from scratch because technical checking and cross-checking the facts can take longer than writing something from the start. There are a plethora of responsibilities that fall in the job description of an editor of this sort, but the most common of them are as follows:
● Correct the Formatting
The formatting of any document plays a crucial role in making it look appealing and professional. No matter how good the quality of your content is, if it lacks professional formatting, it gives a negative impression not only on your clients but also on the readers.
On the other hand, if formatting is in place, it is most likely to appeal to the readers from the very first glance. This task falls in developmental editing.
● Look into the Bigger Picture
Developmental editing is hinged on making sure that the facts and claims made in the content are well aligned with the intent of the content. Such an editor will make sure that the statistics are factually correct, each paragraph is necessary, and is only adding value to the reader while keeping the whole content flow smoothly.
They have to focus on the bigger picture of the topic and keep the knowledge of the types of keywords intended into consideration while editing.
● Does the Technical Check
Technical content can be tricky and requires a strict technical check. It is especially true when you are dealing with content centered on technical topics like software programs and other IT services. Similarly, highly specialized content pertaining to a certain industry also falls in technical content.
The technical check adds value to the content and portrays that the writer is fully capable and qualified enough to write on that topic. For instance, if you are writing on WordPress, you will need to add real-time information and visuals from a WP dashboard to add credibility to content of this sort.
2. Copy Editing
Another type of editing that revolves around setting up the sentence structure, making sentences grammatically correct, and improving the tone of the content is termed copyediting.
Broadly speaking, it takes more time than developmental editing because you will have to go through each line separately in order to correct the copy.
Many people take the help of premium content writing tools like Grammarly Premium to cut down on the time of copy editing, especially when it is a content agency that has to deliver a gigantic turnaround of words and articles on a daily basis.
Things a Copy Editor Does
A copy editor puts a strict check on the quality of the written words and makes sure that it is in accordance with the general guidelines of tone and quality set by the company. These are three basic things that a copywriter is widely responsible for delivering in any company. However, the nature of their job can vary from company to company.
● The line to Line Editing
A copy editor will not only have to read the whole article or blog line by line but will also have to make sure that the vocabulary and tone used in each line is compliant with the title and keyword intent.
For instance, he will cut out any informal words used in an article targeting B2B and high-profile businesses because, generally, a formal tone is used while targeting businesses.
● Make Things Make Sense
When writers are writing in flow, they tend to combine two sentences and make things complicated and difficult to tread. It is the responsibility of a copy editor to make sure that the readability of a piece of content is in compliance with the company guidelines.
He will make sure that the content is clear and easy to read and does not confuse the readers in any way. Restricting the use of fancy vocabulary and the choice of the right words for website content is also one of the tasks that a copy editor does. He makes sure that every sentence makes sense and is in flow. He will also cut out any extra sentences or words that add redundancy to the content.
● The Clichés
There are some clichés that every editor has to ensure when they are editing any piece of content. These include that the content is free from plagiarism and any grammatical mistakes. Editors usually have to approve the content from different tools that are in the guidelines of any company.
For instance, it is mandatory for some editors to upload the content on WP and make sure the YOAST, an SEO plugin in WP, has given the green light signal to the content. This ensures that the post is SEO optimized and published in accordance with the requirements of that particular platform.
Similarly, many editors use the Copyscape tool to ensure that the content is unique and free of plagiarism. An editor should also be able to detect any kind of content spinning done in the content using different content writing AI software programs or online content spinning tools.