The Amber Sword
Author: Fei Yan
I generally edit The Amber Sword with 2 concepts in my mind, “Character design” and “storyboarding”. These two elements are what I learned in school and generally built on the “Three Act Structure“, and also the reasons why editing time has gone way up.
While my edits are generally done with broad strokes based on the concepts, I do believe the outcome of my process is actually quite close to a formal editing, or at least how I understand editing to be for a novel.
There are variations on the different types of editing but I will specify the four general types that relates to my process.
A) Developmental Editing
B) Substantive Editing
C) Copy Editing
A) Developmental Editing (DE)
As a thumb of rule for DE, the basic ideas are to enhance and refine the story, kill off inconsistencies and unrealistic things if there are any. The easiest example is the blind girl mentioned in TAS. She basically ‘cannot’ see, but the author chooses “She looks at Brendel” and I correct that.
I create general character sheets and stick to them as much as possible for consistency. There are descriptive text written in to develop or change the characters’ motivations / behavior to make it consistent and less cliche (if applicable).
I also research various elements that are related to medieval stuff for proofreading. An example would be Freya enrolling in that academy/school (which I actually am not sure if something like a knights’ school actually existed?). Medieval knights basically transit something like this.
Page (6-13 years old) > Squire (14-21 years old) > Knight (can be ranked earlier than 21 years old)
Basically one can be made a knight or inducted into a knighthood. Since Freya is under Princess Gryphine’s forces, she can be made into one. Female knights does exist in medieval times, by the way.
In case anyone is still wondering, no, I have not changed any significant plotlines at all. Not the job of an editor.
B) Substantive Editing
The idea of  as “thought lines” did not exist in the original raws.
The raws’ dialogues will be split up across really long passages as the author creates his exposition, and it is generally confusing and has a 4th wall narration to it. Ultimately I chose to  it and clarify various things to make it easier for the audience.
The ======= XXX POV ======== also does not exist in the raws, and is requested by the majority of the readers.
There’s quite a bit of reordering to the passages whenever applicable in order to maintain a coherent flow to the text.
Other additions include
– Related terms of addressing like, My lord, Your Highness, etc, and falls under this category.
– Names. I gave a few of the more important names a lot of thinking. Trentheim is a recent example. Brownie points for anyone who actually manages to guess what it means.
– Reduction on word padding. Please Brendel. You have to stop turning your head around 720 degrees. It’s like a horror movie. And stop looking up so many times too, you’re going to break it.
C) Copy Editing
This typically falls under smooth Engrish operation. Basically, I need a real copyeditor who has an A grade in English because I’m admittedly not good enough, but lol there’s no possible way to afford anyone like that.
Copy editing is supposed to ensure proper word usage, fix awkward grammar English, clean up even more redundancies, improve the prose and natural feel on how the plot is conveyed. I’ll stick characters’ word choice consistency into this section instead of DE.
Finally, prooreading is just spelling corrections to be done.
You guys still with me?
When it comes to translation, I don’t exactly follow the above ABCD in a specific order. My process immediately applies mostly A and B during my first draft TL, then my 2nd TL edit will apply ABCD again as a clean up.
This initial first draft takes me approximately 3-4 hours. The second read through and editing takes me another 1-2 hours. Generally I want to be done in this time frame so I can take a break on this.
If you think that’s good enough, nope, it actually isn’t. To be honest, there should be one more round of BCD editing again to ensure I don’t commit inaccuracies.
Table of contents