Developmental editing, also known as structural or substantive editing, addresses the big-picture issues and looks at how successfully your book works as a whole. Is your plot plausible? Are your characters believable? Does your story drag at times? Is the structure coherent? Does it match reader expectations?
A developmental edit looks at your work objectively and offers constructive feedback on its strengths and weaknesses, providing suggestions for development and improvement in the form of an in-depth editorial report and comments throughout the manuscript.
Line and copy editing is editing at sentence level. A line and copy edit will refine your writing and sharpen your narrative. It will also iron out any ambiguity, exposition, unnatural dialogue, repetition, redundancy and awkward syntax, as well as ensuring consistency.
Line editing – also known as stylistic editing – focuses on style, rhythm and flow. Copy editing concentrates on technical accuracy, consistency and clarity. My approach is non-prescriptive and in tune with your writing style and intentions.
If you’ve searched online for definitions of the different types of editing available, it’s possible that you’ll be more confused than ever – even editors can’t agree! Some writers are clear about what editing service they are looking for, whereas others, especially new writers, aren’t so sure. Here are some brief scenarios to help identify the right service for you.
What matters most is that you’re clear about what services are being offered and what you’ll be getting. With that in mind, here’s an explanation of what I mean when I talk about the different stages of editing.
Once I’ve seen your manuscript, I’ll be able to advise you further, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, please get in touch and we can see what’s possible. Some form of editing is always going to be better than none, and different manuscripts have different requirements, depending on your personal and publishing goals.
If you’re interested in working together on your manuscript, please drop me a line sooner rather than later! My calendar is usually full three to six months in advance. However, I recognise the need for flexibility, and manuscripts can take longer to write than planned – plus we all know that life has a habit of getting in the way. So, it’s always worth getting in touch to see what’s possible.