About Editing

Writing is about ideas, emotions, and intellect. Editing is about clarity, authenticity, and delivery. Content strategy is about grounding principles and birds'-eye views. Click a button or scroll down to learn more.

Content Management

Content has a way of getting a little wily. Maybe you are new and growing fast, adding content even as your voice, standards, and internal processes change. Or maybe you have been around a while, but you are beginning to realize that your "system" for content organization—that is, your memory and habit—is not a very easily transferable to your colleagues.

My background in educational content serves me even outside of the education field. I can expertly conduct a thorough content review, pull out standards and best-practice protocols, and identify levels of quality and effectiveness in your content.

And since my MO is creating clear instruction about complex content, I will leave you with plenty of tools and frameworks for being able to create more of the content you want, later.

Call this content management, call it content curation, call it content review, or content wrangling—it's an essential step for creating and maintaining high-quality, accessible content for your staff and clients.

Developmental editing

Developmental editing is a broad category that could mean different things. I like to break it down into two main buckets: 1) substantial editing or advice on a piece of writing; and 2) original content development.

 

In the first bucket, you, the author, have great ideas but seek help bringing them to life in writing. A developmental edit helps establish such things as organization, focus, consistency, and tone. For example, your article might benefit from reorganization so its readers can follow it more intuitively, or your children's book might shine extra bright with some work around pacing and word sounds. 

In the second bucket, I receive specifications from you, but I produce the content. I do a lot of curriculum development and other educational writing for kids and adults, as well as copywriting for small businesses. Although in these cases I am creating original content, this work falls under developmental editing.

Line editing

You have gotten your ideas onto paper or screen and worked them well into shape, perhaps with a trusted confidante or two taking a look. You are ready for a close look at style and usage qualities such as word choice, clarity of meaning, flow, and consistency in tone. My colleague Meghan describes line editing as "copyediting + poetry - ego." Best description ever. Line editing is my jam, and maybe it's yours, too: a line edit is a very valuable step for a writer or content provider of any type, as a little tweaking and querying can go a long way.

Copyediting

Your manuscript is almost ready—but, after months of looking at the forest, it's crucial for a fresh pair of eyes to examine the trees. A  copyedit fixes errors in grammar, mechanics, punctuation, and spelling, and ensures consistency in terms and conventions. 

Proofreading

A proofread is a check for any remaining typos, stray periods, extra spaces, and the like, to ensure the manuscript is clean. The word "proofreading" used to refer to comparing the typesetter's proof against the typed (or handwritten!) manuscript. These days, manuscripts may be proofread against a prior version, or they may be simply read on their own, perhaps with the copyeditor's style guide for reference.

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About Editing

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

    

- Mark Twain

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© 2019 by Kaara Kallen, Chicago, IL
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