A line-by-line assessment of your manuscript with a focus on craft and technique to ensure effective, vivid, and compelling prose.
A technical examination of your manuscript to correct errors in spelling, grammar, style, and syntax, and to ensure that your writing is clear, correct, and consistent.
A final comb-through of your manuscript to eliminate errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting.
Line editing, also called stylistic editing, is a thorough line-by-line examination of your manuscript with a focus on writing style and craft. It pays close attention to your unique voice to help your writing impact your readers the way you intend it to.
A line edit will include notes on atmosphere, building tension, strengthening sentences, trimming unnecessary information, and pacing on the line and paragraph level. It will also provide feedback on where scenes or lines are hitting or missing their emotional marks.
Some example notes are:
Is there a stronger verb to express this?
Instead of telling us the character is angry, show us. Does he clench his jaw? Tense his shoulders?
We don't need this information yet, and it breaks the tension in this scene. Consider revealing at a later time when it becomes relevant.
Some of the issues a line edit will address include:
awkward or unclear writing
showing vs telling
Copy editing is the final major edit your manuscript should undergo, and it focuses on readability, style, grammar, and consistency.
Where a line edit will strengthen the flow and craft of your prose, a copy edit will ensure that your writing is in line with industry standards and that your full manuscript reads smoothly and cohesively. It will also flag confusing sentences, weak constructions, and inconsistencies in setting, character description, or plot.
Some example notes are:
I capitalized "Sweetheart" because all other terms of endearments so far have been capitalized. Change okay?
Dangling participle in "sneaking through the alley, the darkness was oppressive"; it sounds like the darkness is sneaking, not the character.
You describe Julie's eyes as blue here but in chapter three, they were brown. Revise for consistency?
Some of the issues a copy edit will address include:
quotations and italics
Proofreading is the very last stage of the editing process before a project is published. It’s the last line of defense against errors, the final comb-through of your manuscript to catch any last technical mistakes that have slipped through the earlier editing stages.
A proofread will correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting. It will not correct errors in content and should therefore happen only after all other revisions are complete and the book has been fully formatted.