How To Determine If Your Work Needs Content Editing
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Is this the first editing review of my work?
2. Do I need an edit before I get to the detail, grammatical editing of copy editing?
3. Do I need the “big picture” of my work reviewed?
4. Does my writing need corrections in…
- Message structure and/or refinement
- Overall content
- Writing gaps, excessiveness, or wordiness
- Consistency of message and/or writing style
- Organization of the writing
If you answered yes to any of the questions in the list above, you would benefit from content editing.
Content, Developmental, or Substantive Editing
Content editing is the big picture and should be the first step in editing. The entire manuscript is reviewed from a broad perspective and suggestions are made to improve cohesiveness, organization, structure, and consistency. This type of editing uses constructive criticism to enhance the work and look for problems with characterization, point of view, tension, or contradictions within the writing. Suggestions can be made to dialogue, setting, or plot. Content editing looks at the entire work and ensures that the writer’s objective is clear to the reader. All types of writing, not only fiction, can benefit from developmental editing.