History of Editing Tools
Before looking at the future of editing, let’s look at the past. Imagine trying to edit in 3200 BC. I’ll bet a typo caused great frustration 🙂 Forget about story editing. Editing was agonizingly slow and difficult and remained slow and difficult until Fictionary came along.
Editing tools have a changed, but the form of a well-told story has not.
Why Do Books Get Published Without A Story Edit?
The biggest pain point for fiction writers and editors today is that story editing is difficult and time consuming. This means the step often gets skipped and a writer ends up publishing a book that doesn’t sell.
Fictionary is changing that.
I want to refer to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory to illustrate the pain points.
To paraphrase, he said, “The 10,000 hour theory is a metaphor for the extent of commitment necessary in any cognitively complex field.”
And STORY EDITING is cognitively complex. Imagine how hard it is to perform a story edit without story knowledge and a structured process–without a tool. There are 38 story elements that should be considered for each scene. Let’s say an 85,000 word novel has 65 scenes. There are 38 story elements for each scene. That’s 2470 story elements to evaluate.
Gladwell said, “The 10,000 hour theory symbolizes the amount of time it takes to develop innate abilities is probably longer than you think.”
Most accomplished writers and editors know this to be true.
Gladwell also said, “To become an exceptional chess player, it used to take 10,000 hours. Now, because online software makes learning chess so efficient, you can learn a lot more in a shorter period of time.”
This is where having an online tool that helps writers and editors story edit comes into play. We’ve built the tool to teach the writer and editor as they work on a manuscript. The learning happens while they are working. Fictionary makes learning how to story edit efficient.
The future of editing will is automation combined with human artistry.
…writers and editors didn’t have an automated tool to perform a story edit.
To perform a story edit that transforms a story, writers and editors must keep track of the overall structure, characters, plot, and settings all while keeling the big-picture in their mind and evaluating if the story works.
Writers and editors today are performing story edits using a manual process usually combining word processing software with a spreadsheet. That’s difficult and can be frustrating. That would be like an accountant using word processing and spreadsheets to do a companies books. Accountants would never accept that now, and neither should content creators.
What Writers and Editors do Without Fictionary
There are dozens of apps for writing first drafts and many apps for grammar checking & proofreading. These apps are used either before or after the story editing step and are complementary to Fictionary. Until Fictionary, writers and editors used these products to story edit because they had no other option.
Writers are willing to use and pay for apps for all the steps in getting a story from first draft to published. Fictionary fills a gap in this process. The top websites for writers get millions of monthly visits. This indicates writers are searching for automated ways to publish a story.
As the publishing industry has unbundled services, writers and editors invest in:
- Word processing software
- Spreadsheet software
- Copy editing/proofreading software
In addition, writers invest in:
- Professional editing
- Beta reading software
- Book Cover design
- Blurb writing
- Synopsis writing
- Cover design
The future of editing is already here and will continue to get better.
Form versus Formula
Time has proven for a story to be commercially successful it must follow the form of the story arc. To attract a wide audience a story must fit the way the human brain loves to experience a story. The bulk of the population won’t relate to an unconventionally told story.
What do Beowulf, an epic poem written circa 750BC, and Twilight, written in 2008, have in common? Both are about monsters, but what’s extremely interesting is…You’ll have to watch the video to find out.
This is important to the future of editing and publishing for the simple reason that better stories sell more books. Fictionary draws the story arc of the imported manuscript in seconds. Literally. A writer or editor no longer needs to spends days doing this manually.
The Future of Editing: My Prediction
- continue to move downstream until the entire publishing and writing industry is transformed
- accelerate the time to market of great stories
- dramatically increase the efficiency and consistency of editing
- automate how a writer frames their story, visualizes their character development, and naturally creates better stories.
With Fictionary, creativity is limitless. Only the writing and editing process is automated. The software does takes care of the drudgery required to edit. The artistry remains with the writer and editor.
Why Now is the Time Editing Industry Must Change
The future of editing is automation. Apprentice programs no longer exist. Editors are often contracted and don’t work in-house. So how does a publisher afford to hire talented editors? Editors need to know how to quickly evaluate form. It’s the only way to know if a story is good.
To edit and revise quickly, editors and writers need to speak the same language. The writer needs to understand the editors comments and revise while the editor moves on to a new client. Fictionary StoryTeller and StoryCoach bring writers and editors together.
We are only at the beginning for the AI journey for editing stories. The software won’t replace a human, but it can make them faster, comprehensive, and consistent today.
“Creative minds won’t be replaced by machines anytime in the near future — rather, it is much more a question of supporting publishers through clever optimization to enable them to strengthen their core business.” — Colin Lovrinovic, MD of Gould Finch
Imagine what the future holds for story telling!
Perfect grammar and punctuation won’t sell books.
A great story will.
StoryTeller is creative editing software for fiction writers. Transform your story, not just your words. Successful stories depend on your ability to edit, improve, and revise your work. Only when you become an expert at story editing, can you become an expert at storytelling.
Why not check out Fictionary’s StoryTeller free 14-day trial and turn your words into stories readers love.
Technology can help you perform a comprehensive and objective story edit. Learn how software can help you become a better fiction editor.
We like to refer to Fictionary StoryCoach as an IA instead of AI. It’s your intelligent assistant. Editing technology isn’t about the uprising of robots who will do the work for you, it’s about using technology as an assistant to help you do the job better, faster, and more objectively.
StoryCoach is the best productivity software for professional editors. It’s the only online tool for performing better structural and developmental edits.
Story editing, also known as structural or developmental editing, takes an in-depth look at an entire manuscript with a focus on characters, plot, and settings. Help writers by understanding what great stories are made of using the enlightening visuals and the 38 Fictionary Story Elements. StoryCoach ensures you “fully” evaluate the story without personal biases coming into play. You’ll elevate your editing. Now’s the time to try Fictionary StoryCoach for editors for free!