Editors are responsible for editing content at varying stages following the completion of the writing process. They make sure that your piece of content is fit for publication.
Content creators and writers often rely on editors to amp up their content and rectify mistakes. Editors also suggest improvements with regard to the overall structure and style of content. For them, quality is of paramount importance.
So, how does an editor ensure quality?
1. Sentence style and readability
Editors read your content through a reader’s eyes, to ensure that all sentences convey the writer’s intended meaning lucidly. They often keep an eye out for chunky phrases, incorrect tenses, misused metaphors and other language errors.
2. Syntax fundamentals
The order of words and clauses in a sentence or paragraph should be easy to follow. While writing long-form content, many writers make the mistake of complicating syntax. The editor steps in to rectify convoluted sentences.
3. Removing unwanted matter
Sometimes the use of jargon or complicated vocabulary can mar the reading experience. Editing involves the removal of unnecessary words and sentences. Editors may also suggest alternate ways to structure a sentence or shuffle paragraphs around to ensure more clarity and continuity.
4. Retaining a reader’s attention
The flow of your content should sustain a reader’s attention. The job of an editor is to study your content with a focus on minute details that may disrupt a reader’s attention. The use of crisp vocabulary for elaborate descriptions is one example of an effective writing style that retains readers’ attention. To an editor, a reader’s experience is fundamental to the effectiveness of any text.
5. Studying the tone
A fundamental aspect of editing is to study the tone of a manuscript. While a writer cannot please everyone, the meaning of his or her content should be easily understood by all readers. An editor needs to remove words, phrases and imagery that can impact the tone of a message negatively. At the same time, an editor would ensure that the originality of the writer’s thoughts remains intact.
6. Suggesting improvements
Once an editor has studied the text in detail, suggestions are made along the way. The intention is to make the text better, offer alternatives to words, rearrange sentences and ensure continuity. An editor ensures that the right words are used at the right points. Depending on the type of editing, professional editors would make innumerable suggestions. However, the main objective is to resolve issues in a copy.
7. Preserving the writer’s voice
Editors must not edit out the writer’s voice altogether! Because a writer’s unique voice is the driving force for any content piece. Editors have to study a manuscript from a reader’s perspective, but he or she also has to understand a writer’s point of view. This makes editing a very challenging endeavor. To sum it up, the goal of editing is to suggest improvements that align with the writer’s ideas and unique voice.
8. Eliminating repetition
Sometimes a writer can go on and on for a long time about the same idea in different ways. This rambling style can confuse a reader or push them to boredom. An editor has to declutter text and remove repetitions.
9. Proofreading and double-checking
It never hurts to double-check information and ensure accuracy. Whether you’re an editor or a writer, proofreading and double-checking for errors are fundamental to the content creation process.
If you’re just starting out as an editor, don’t be overwhelmed. Learn from your experience and engage in fulfilling relationships with your writers. It’s important to motivate each other with suggestions, without sounding too harsh or arrogant.