The Differences in Editing Fiction and Nonfiction

Some authors’ body of work is very specific and remains in the same genre for their entire career. Other authors have a broad body of work that encompasses many topics, forms, and genres. These authors can find it difficult to edit their work because it’s so different. Editors such as Bobbie Christmas, editor and owner of Zebra Communications, have years of education and have done copious amounts of market research to understand what readers want when picking up and reading a book. Christmas, who takes pride in being a generalist, points out the differences in writing and editing fiction and nonfiction books. Line editing, or grammar editing, remains important, regardless of genre or style. Fiction, however, has elements such as plot and characterization that need to be examined. Nonfiction elements include organization and clarity. In the clip below, learn what other elements an editor like Christmas looks for both fiction and nonfiction books.

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