Let’s look at the big picture
This is where we look at everything in the smallest detail.
Please see below for types of editing and explanations. For new clients, I prefer to work on a smaller slice of the manuscript first (maybe the first chapter, or first few chapters) To see if the client is ready for a developmental edit, or if they need craft coaching.
There are three types of edits, done in this order:
- Developmental/substantive: Big picture, plot, pacing, overall arc + romantic arc (if needed), show verses tell, opening and closing chapter hooks, dialog beats, sentence structure, flow, word choice, general grammar while keeping a hold of the author’s voice.
This is the longest part of the editing process. It is the most labor intense, and normally the most costly.
- Line Edit/Copy Editing: Sentence structure, flow, word choice, general grammar while keeping a hold of the author’s voice, light proofread.
This is the start of the fine tuning phase. You are completely happy with the developmental status of your novel (see #1) and you are ready to look at the more “fine tuning” aspect of the text.
You should always get a final proofread after this step. Any time you make changes, you could accidentally introduce small typos that a proofreader would catch in the final read.
- Final Proofread: Reading slowly, checking for punctuation and correct spelling. (This is done LAST after all other changes are made, because the next step is formatting and publication. Yay!)
I’d be happy to give you advice on how to whip your manuscript into shape for submission to agents and editors, or to be developmentally sound for self-publication, if that is the avenue you choose. I work in Microsoft Word with track changes turned on. When you get the manuscript back, you can look at each suggestion and approve/reject one at a time, or click on “accept all” to adopt all the changes at once. I give advice in-line within your manuscript, and then give overall comments at the end of the job.