04 Oct Rewriting or Editing or Proofreading?
*WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT IS THAT YOU REALLY NEED?*
When you ask the proofreader to proofread your text, what is it you expect? What do you think you need?
Proofreading, editing, and revising/rewriting are not the same.
All the text is considered. Does the text fulfill its purpose? Does it speak to the intended audience? Does it have the right tone and level of language? Are the ideas sufficiently developed or is more evidence needed? Are the relationships between ideas coherent?
Revising/rewriting often involves recrafting sentences, reorganizing paragraphs, removing or adding content, polishing style, harmonizing word use, turning passive voice into active voice, hunting down glue words, cleaning up overwriting and word repetitions.
Rewriting is often harder than working on a first or second draft of the text itself. It is also a non-negotiable necessary step to transform an acceptable piece into a publishable one.
Editing takes place after revision/rewriting and at the sentence (at most paragraph) level. You check on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word choice issues. You check whether transitions between paragraphs flow. You make sure the text has a fitting overall structure (including introduction and conclusion), that each paragraph has a topic sentence, and the text flows in harmonious style.
This is the last step before publication: the hunt for surface errors. You are looking for lingering misspellings, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes. You are not paying attention to content, style, or meaning.
Rarely do you spot all problems in one go. Proofread on screen. Then proof on paper. For the supreme test? Proof the text backwards.
The Long Road to Getting Published:
WRITING > REWRITING > EDITING > PROOFREADING > PRINTING > PUBLISHING