There's AI Now, Why Do I Still Need an Editor?

ai editing Nov 05, 2023

Why does editing have to be so complicated? I get this question from new authors and corporate executives who want to get on with it and use AI for every aspect of editing.

I am not against AI. Just ask any of my friends or son. I’m the first in line to try out new technologies (provided my son gives me a boost by explaining it to me 👍). I may have doubts and hesitation about the BIG PICTURE with AI, but for specific functions like sentence structure, I give it a thumbs up.

But wait! There’s more to editing than just using AI-assisted programs like Grammarly and others. Here’s a list of positive things AI can do for you as a writer:

  • Offer grammatical improvements
  • Save you time 
  • Save you on your budget
  • Identify gaps in a document
  • Pick out the main subjects
  • Help determine which writing style: APA, MLA, or Chicago style you want to use

But contrary to popular belief, AI still cannot do every type of editing, which is why you still need humans to edit. Let me tell you about the most important type of editing that goes into the making of a great book: Developmental Editing. AI still needs to do it. In ten years in the future, perhaps, but for now, it is the job of humans. 

Developmental Editing is where an editor reads through your entire manuscript, page by page, to get a 10,000-foot view of your story. H/she will then get out a red marker and begin a multi-layered process of reviewing and rearranging paragraphs to ensure the structure of the story has integrity, look at repetitive actions, scenes, and dialogue, and either suggest a specific type of rewrite on the part of the author or remove the duplicate entirely. The Dev Editor will also ensure that dialogue amongst characters flows, is believable, gets the reader's attention, and is relevant to the story. Besides, the Dev Editor will mark outstanding context errors, question why particular descriptions and descriptive adjectives are used, and suggest ways to improve. 

Does that sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be, especially when you are in safe, good hands. I can help you. I would love to help you. 

I’ve worked on many books as a Dev Editor and, in some cases, practically rewrote the manuscript(s) - yes, plural as this is quite common, and discovered stories layered underneath the manuscript the author had hidden from themselves. That, in turn, required the author(s) - yes plural, to rewrite their books almost from scratch. 

I do not regret for one minute hiring a Dev Editor for my memoir! So, don't hesitate. Let me help you the same way she helped me.

A finished manuscript is the first stage of getting your book into the hands of readers, just like an oil painter’s canvas. There are layers of paint, turpentine, shellacs, and other materials that go into the final genius piece of artwork. The same goes for a book. 

For more information on how I can help you get your book professionally edited, click here.

As Always,

Elise Krentzel
Book Coach, Editor & Author