Content Editing, Line Editing, Proofreading… Oh My!


Tuesday Tips (1)

Last week, we talked about the absolute necessity of editing and learning how to develop a thick skin as an author in order to make certain that your book is the best it can possibly be. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about the different KINDS of editing out there. There are quite a few different options, and for a new author it can be downright overwhelming. You poke your head out of your den and go on facebook to say you’ve finished your book and now you need an editor. Immediately, you are barraged with recommendations and questions like, “What kind of editor are you looking for? I have a great substantive editor!” And your little authorly heart stops.

What KIND of editor?

There are different kinds?

I have to choose?

But never fear! Because I’m here to give you a run-down on the different kinds of editing you can choose from and why each one is important. Thankfully, there aren’t really as many types of editing as you might think, since several of them have multiple names that mean the same thing! Also, I’m going to talk about these in the order in which they should happen, to keep confusion to a minimum!

Developmental (also known as “substantive” or “big picture”) Editing – This is the kind of editing that looks at the entire story as a whole and pokes at the weak spots to see if they hold up. This pass of edits does not bother overly much with typos and grammar and punctuation, this focuses on the story. Are there plot holes? Are the characters three-dimensional? Do things make sense? Are there any big problems with the structure of the story that need to be addressed?

Developmental editing is a fantastic thing to have, especially if you happen to be more of a pantser when you write (“pantser” means you generally do not plot things out or use an outline, you just write as the story and characters lead you). However, I have found that oftentimes you can get a lot of these “big picture” issues pointed out by a couple of really solid beta readers.

Beta Readers – While not exactly “editors” I am including beta readers here in this post because I find them to be an important step in the editing process. It is important to remember that beta readers are NOT editors. They should not be expected to find typos or check your punctuation. Beta readers are generally people who volunteer to read your story in its pre-edited form and give you feedback on things they liked/didn’t like about the story. Some beta readers will give you an overall impression of the book. The best beta readers will make comments throughout your story, pointing out plot holes, things that didn’t make sense, anything that pulled them out of the story or detracted from their reading experience. (Trust me, if you can find a couple of the latter type, hold on to them and never let them go!)

Line Editing - This level of editing gets more into the nuts and bolts of your prose. It looks at your style and points out things like whether or not all your sentences are too close in length, places where your wording is repetitive, places where you present information in a confusing way, or awkward wording that detracts from your story.

Copy Editing - This level is sometimes combined with or included in line editing, but this is were we really get into the mechanical issues: typos, grammar, and punctuation. A copy editor will also note inconsistencies, for example: whether or not you consistently use British or American spellings, whether or not you capitalize certain words throughout your book. This is also a pass of editing that can catch inconsistencies and issues that were CAUSED by earlier revisions! Yep, that can happen. This is why multiple passes of editing are important.

Proofreading - This is the last pass of editing, and should take place when all other revisions are complete. This is the final look over the manuscript to make sure that it is as error-free as possible!

So, now that you know all that… what kind of editing does your manuscript need?

Being perfectly honest, I take every manuscript through every one of these passes. This is why the editing process takes me a while (usually editing takes longer than it took to write the book in the first place). I don’t always do a ton of re-writing in my books, though it has been known to happen, so if you write a “cleaner” rough draft than I do, you might not need to invest in all of these levels. At the very least, I highly recommend Beta Readers, line editing, and proofreading.


~ jenelle

Spice Bringer

Yeah… this is like a month late… but hey… if you haven’t seen this yet, then it means you’ve been missing out!

H.L. Burke is bringing us yet another awesome fantasy book to read… and since I’m a month late to the party, that means it’s a month closer to the release date… which Amazon tells me is coming on AUGUST 28th! That’s only two weeks away!!! I highly recommend this author, I’ve read several of her books and have loved them all so far! (She is one of the few authors out there who writes faster than I can read… which is a pretty impressive feat… which is why I haven’t caught up on ALL her books yet, but I definitely plan to!)

Release Day Graphic


A deadly disease. A vanishing remedy. A breathless journey.

All her life, Niya’s known she will die young from the fatal rasp. She survives only with the aid of vitrisar spice and a magical, curmudgeonly fire salamander named Alk. Then an ambitious princess burns down the vitrisar grove in an effort to steal Alk so she can claim her rightful throne. Joined by Jayesh, a disgraced monk, Niya and Alk must flee to the faraway Hidden Temple with the last vitrisar plant, or all who suffer from the rasp will perish. 

But even as Niya’s frustration and banter with Jayesh deepen to affection, the rasp is stealing away her breath and life. 

For a girl with limited time and a crippling quest, love may be more painful than death.

3DTrioGraphic - Transparent background

Preorder at:


Apple iBooks

Uncommon Universes Press – autographed paperback preorder - the regular paperback will be $17.99, but these autographed paperback preorders are just $14.99 with free shipping (free shipping to US addresses only)

Author Picture H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Follow H.L. Burke around the interwebs! 

(I’ve heard she LOVES it when people stop by and leave comments with lyrics from Backstreet Boys songs…)









~ jenelle

Fairest Son Blog Tour + Character Spotlight

Fairest Son quote 1

You may have heard rumblings around the internet already about this new book hitting the shelves! I am so thrilled to be part of H.S.J. Williams’ blog tour this week, celebrating her debut novel, FAIREST SON! I’ve been super excited about this one since I first heard about it, and I am thrilled that it is now available to purchase. Today, I have the great privilege of introducing you to one of the characters in this story, but first, a little bit about the book itself!


The Fair and Foul courts of the fey folk have long yearned for one to bring them together in peace, but hopes are dashed when the fairest prince and the prophecy concerning him are laid to ruin. Burdened with shame and sorrow, the prince flees to the cold mountains far above the forests and lochs with nothing but animals and goblins for company.

When a human huntress stumbles upon him in her search for a legendary predator, their fates are intertwined. But she hides deadly secrets, and if he dares to trust her, he may risk the doom of both courts to an ancient evil…

A novella retelling of Snow White

Meet Idris

Art Credit to Phantomrin

Art Credit to Phantomrin

While the whitethorn tress were in blossom, Idris was born to the King and Queen of the Seelie Court. At his birth, a prophecy was spoken that he would one day reunite his kingdom with their sundered brethren, the Unseelie, for he was the fairest of all the folk. An enchantment was cast over him at a young age so that he could not die unless three certain things had befallen him, and these deadly keys were kept in secrecy. This did not deter his enemies, who scorned the prophecy, and in a tragic event, the young prince was left maimed and scarred with no hope of fulfilling his destiny. Broken, the prince went into hiding up in the high mountains, with only beasts and goblins for company. But while living there, he would refine skills and wisdom, ever growing in kindness and cunning.

Appearance: While once possessing great beauty with summer gold hair and gleaming green eyes, Idris now keeps his temperance completely covered by white wrappings.

Skills: Idris rediscovered his sight through carving figurines from the finest crystals and gems. He has a remarkable affinity to connect with animals, and indeed, with most people. This is most likely due to his gentleness rather than any magic.


“She doesn’t know who I was and what I am now. And she doesn’t care.”

“I know what it is like to fear the deceptions of the Unseelie Court.

“There are foul among the Fair, so I must believe there are fair among the Foul.”



About the Author

Author photoFrom the beginning, H. S. J. Williams has loved stories and all the forms they take. Whether with word, art, or costume, she has always been fascinated with the magic of imagination. She lives in a real fantastical kingdom, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with her very own array of animal friends and royally loving family. Williams taught Fantasy Illustration at MSOA. She may also be a part-time elf. 

Follow H.S.J. Williams online to find out more about her stories and art:



Fairest Son quote 2

~ jenelle

Adventures & Episodes: Where Did Summer Go?

Adventures& Episodes

Seriously. Where did the summer go? If you see it, tell it to come back? I’ll bake it cookies.

I apologize to everyone who thought yesterday’s post was going to be about me finishing Turrim 3… that’s not what it was about… #BlogTitleFail… it was part of my “Tips and Tricks” series, and I talked about the importance of editing and getting multiple eyes on your manuscript and learning how to take criticism. If you are a writer, I recommend it!!!

I’ve kind of already updated you on all the things that happened in July, so this isn’t going to be a normal Adventures and Episodes post. I’ve already reviewed the only books I read (Ellie and the Prince & Water Princess, Fire Prince).

The only movies I watched were I Can Only Imagine, which was very good and it made me cry and I loved it to pieces. GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!

And Ant Man and the Wasp…. which was AWESOME and HILARIOUS and I can’t decide if I like it better than the first one. If you haven’t seen the first one, you’re missing out! You definitely need to see that one first. But I loved this sequel. I think I like it equally to the first one. Highly recommend. (But see the first one… um… first, or you’ll be lost and confused, and that would be sad).

We also caught up on NCIS since the latest season came up on Netflix and I LOVES GIBBS FOREVER!




I miss Tony and Ziva though.

And now Abbey.

*curls up in a ball and cries*


We listened to the Focus on the Family Radio Theater drama of Voyage of the Dawn Treader as a family on the drive down to Arkansas and back, and it was as awesome as I remembered it.

I wrote 13,050 words in July, which wasn’t too shabby considering that I didn’t write at all for over a week because vacation/family reunion/REALM MAKERS (you can read my post about that experience HERE).

August began and I wrote another 4,480 words in the first two days of August and FINISHED TURRIM THREE!

See… TODAY’S post is about me finishing Turrim 3…. hehe

(And I think I might even have a potential title candidate… but I’m keeping the lid on that for now… UNLESS you’re signed up for my newsletter, which comes out next Monday… Newsletter Subscribers are getting a sneak peek at my title idea, AND an exclusive offer… so make sure you sign up for that before Monday if you haven’t already!)

Yep. Finally caught up with that deadline that kept whooshing past me (which happened partially as a result of thinking the book was going to be about 80K words long, only to have it end up at 119K… my writing goals seem to enjoy laughing at me… tell me I’m not the only one!?)

It’s messy, this rough draft of mine. I wrote it in character arcs, which means that the book is currently NOT IN ORDER *cue gasping* which is the first time I’ve ever written like that, and it’s making me die a little inside to leave it like that for now, but I have some clean-up to do before I can weave it all together.


I really like this book.

I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written… messiness and all.

I’m excited to share it with you.

Which brings me to… Future Plans.

I’m doing something a bit differently with this series. I’ve hinted at it here and there in other places, and may have even talked about it here on the blog, but several people have asked, so I thought I’d give a few more details. We already had this plan in place, and then some things we learned at Realm Makers confirmed that it was a good idea. So here it is…

The Plan

steampunk-1636156_640Currently, I believe that the Turrim Archive is going to be a five-book series. Books 1-3 are now completely drafted. My plan is to continue drafting, completing books 4-5. When the final book is done, I am going to edit them all together in one fell swoop (or several fell swoops, because it’s never JUST ONE pass of editing, of course! But “one fell swoop” here means “all together one after another as if it were one enormous book so that everything lines up and there hopefully aren’t any inconsistencies from one book to the next” so… “one fell swoop” is a lot easier to say). Once the editing is complete and the cover art is done for all five books, I will be “rapid releasing” this series. What kind of schedule does that mean? I’m not entirely certain yet, but from what I learned at Realm Makers, I think I can confidently say that the books will be released at intervals of anywhere from 6-9 months apart. (Meanwhile, back at the ranch… I will be busily working on another project I’ve got in mind, and hopefully I can get it finished before/by the time I release Turrim Book 5 or shortly thereafter… at least, that’s the dream)!

What does that mean for you? Well, initially it means some waiting.

*cue whining*

I know, I know.

It means I’m not going to be publishing anything big for the foreseeable future. I’m not sure how long it will take to get books 4-5 written. Book 3 took five months, and that involved a LOT of time dedicated solely to writing. With our house getting started (So Exciting!!) and school about to begin again, I can’t promise I’ll be that productive this Fall!! If I COULD write books 4 and 5 in the same sort of time frame, it might mean I could begin editing as early as Autumn 2019, but I’m far too aware of how quickly that kind of schedule can fall apart. Editing takes me a while, too, y’all… so I’m guessing it will be at least a year or two of editing such a massive amount of story… even though these books are all shorter than anything in the Minstrel’s Song series, they still aren’t exactly SHORT little books, ranging from 112K – 119K so far.

So, it’ll be a while.

I might have some more short stories and perhaps a novella to release in the meantime (another anthology with a short story of mine is coming out in October, for example), but I’m going to try to refrain from spending too much time on these shorter projects so that I can focus on getting Turrim Archive done for you as quickly as possible.

Be patient with me, please?

~ jenelle