What Is The Difference Between Revising And Editing?

Whether you are writing your first book or you are working on an article for the local newspaper, you will come across a number of different terms that are used all the time in publishing.

What Is The Difference Between Revising And Editing

Some of these terms may seem obvious but they involve a lot more than you might think. Two of these tricky writing terms are: editing and revising.

What do you need to do when you are editing? And what is revision? In this article, we take a closer look at both, and we find out more about the differences between editing and revising.

Differences Between Editing And Revising

Although sometimes revising and editing are used interchangeably, they are not actually the same process.

In fact, editing is just changing basic grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, while revising means that you need to change the structure of your article or manuscript.

You may have to do both editing and revising for your written work before you hand it over to a publisher.

What Is Editing?

The term editing is used in almost all situations where you need to make changes to the words that you have written.

This could be a manuscript for a book or a screenplay, a newspaper article or even a short story.

When you are editing your piece of work, then you are looking to correct the structure of your writing.

This means you need to make changes to:

  • Sentence structure
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation

Editing your manuscript or article means that the overall story stays the same and you are just fixing some mistakes that you made during the writing process.

These mistakes could include grammatical errors, typos or spelling mistakes as well as different punctuation errors.

Depending on how you publish your article or manuscript, you may have an editor or something responsible for editorial work.

An editor usually goes through a manuscript reviewing the work for any grammar errors, punctuation and overall mistakes.

It’s also worthwhile noting here that an editor will also give advice on the overall structure of your story which you will then have to revise.

This is a different process (see below) and a good editor will also be able to explain the difference between editing your work and revising.

Editors are very strict marking any mistakes and giving you advice on how your story could be improved.

This will ensure that your story reads as well as possible and editing is the first step towards publishing your work.

What Is Revising?

When it comes to revising, you need to take a different approach to editing. 

Revising your article or manuscript means that you need to make changes to the structure of the piece.

This mainly involves adjusting how the reader perceives your work and how it is interpreted.

There are a number of different ways how you can revise a story or article. These involve:

  • You can either clarify existing thoughts in your article or just add new thoughts.
  • You can choose to use more descriptive words in your article to add a little more context to your story.
  • Make sure that your characters are fully developed.
  • Improve the overall quality of all ideas that are presented in your article.
  • Add any important details but make sure that you don’t add any unnecessary elements that aren’t needed to bring across your message in your story or article.

Revising your written work can take longer sometimes as you need to literally re-envision some of your article or story.

Saying this, the time is well worth spent as clear thoughts and well-developed characters can make all the difference to your story.

It’s important to bear in mind that you write your story for an audience, and the readers need to be able to follow your thought trail easily.

When you are revising your work, then you make it much easier for your audience to follow the story and any characters.

In comparison, the editing process only involves correcting spelling errors and grammar. These are also essential for the understanding of your work.

How To Edit And Revise?

There are a number of different ways that you can edit and revise your work.

What Is The Difference Between Revising And Editing

First, it’s important that you proofread your work several times to ensure that there are as little errors in your written words as possible.

Check for any punctuation, typos and grammatical mistakes. 

Revising your story can be a little more difficult to do on your own. Therefore, it’s a good idea to work with an editor or ask a friend or someone in a writers group to check your work.

They will be able to give you advice and point out any issues with your characters or the overall structure of your story.

Do You Need To Do Both Editing And Revising?

Yes, you should do both revising and editing when you are writing a manuscript or article.

In order to be able to submit a good piece of work to a publisher, you should ensure that your manuscript is good quality.

One of the first things editors and publishers will look at is how well your manuscript is written, so there should be no spelling or grammatical errors.

But also the development of your characters and thoughts are essential for the successful publication of your book.

Go through your manuscript one chapter at a time and review how your characters or ideas develop in the book. Check that readers can follow what happens easily.

That’s why, ensure that you have checked your manuscript or short story several times before you submit the work for publication.

This is especially important when you are self-publishing because all the editing and revision work will be on you, and no publisher will check the book for you before publishing.

Final Thoughts

Editing and revising your manuscript, short story or article are two essential processes when you are writing.

They will make sure that you create an excellent book that people will enjoy reading.

Alan Reiner

Alan Reiner

Hi, my name is Alan Reiner and I have been in the writing industry for almost seven years. I write articles that can span from 200 words all the way to 20,000 words every single day. How do I do it? With a lot of determination. All my way through school and college, I hated long-form assignments. I could never get into the groove of working on one piece for an extended period of time. My pieces were always late because I didn’t have the motivation to type them, let alone edit them.