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What is macro editing?

Updated: May 5, 2023

Macro editing refers to the bigger aspects of your writing and is usually completed in the earlier stages of your work. This stage of editing looks more at the bigger picture, ensuring story lines make sense, checking for any inconsistencies and checking timelines etc.

In this stage of editing, forget about the micro aspects (spelling, punctuation, grammar etc), these are the changes you should be making when you've finished the macro edit. Making these smaller changes now is pointless, especially if you are making big changes to the piece. You will ultimately have to go over it again and it will be a waste of time.

If you're editing your own manuscript or someone else's this is where you should start

Focus on:

  • Intention - What's the story line? Is it being told? Are you going off topic? Are you achieving what you set out to do? It might be useful to have a story plan to follow while editing, to ensure you are hitting all the intended points and part of the story.

  • Character - How do you want your characters to develop? Are their personalities consistent? Does it match their actions?

  • Structure - Is it written in the right order? Does everything make sense? Does it need more explanation, or less?

  • Foreshadowing - Foreshadowing is a good way to keep the reader interested. Are you foreshadowing? Are there any opportunities to that you may have missed?

  • Tone - Is the tone consistent throughout? For example, if the narrator is a American, make sure their not using British slang.

  • Consistency - If the book is written in third person, make sure it stays that way (unless it's intentional). Or if it's night time in one scene, then make sure it stays throughout that part/chapter.

Macro editing is all about improvement, trial and error. It's a long process, but very important when it comes to producing good quality writing.


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