Illustration courtesy of sketchrobin.com
Developmental editing is carried out at an early stage of preparing a manuscript. You may have written a full manuscript but be unsure what aspects need improvement and whether there are issues with the plot which, if improved, would increase your success with the book once it is in the hands of readers. A developmental edit will consider the big-picture aspects such as: plot holes, unconvincing characters, character development and themes. From a developmental edit you will have a report on the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript as well as comments and suggestions within the manuscript to consider.
Manuscript critiques are similar to development edits and you’ll get a similar report on your manuscript considering the big-picture aspects but without the additional comments and suggestions within the manuscript.
Following both a developmental edit and a manuscript critique it is likely that you will want to apply some or all of the suggestions and prepare a redraft.
Copyediting or line editing is carried out on a manuscript which may already have been reworked and could have had some developmental editing. You will be happy with the structure and the big-picture aspects. Having been redrafted the writing is ready to be thoroughly checked through and consistent improved where appropriate.
This will help the next reader to have a smooth and immersive reading experience without the distraction of inconsistencies and errors. When copyediting I will edit the work line by line and word by word. Working in MS Word I will be aiming to increase the clarity and flow of the sentences and words. I will be checking for:
- Clear, effective and well-paced narrative
- Spelling, punctuation, grammar, hyphenation and capitalisation
- Suitable use of tenses
- Clarity of dialogue expression and presentation
- Consistency within the word choices with character and author voice
- Believability of characters through consistent traits
- The avoidance of overwriting, repetition, cliché or unintended confusion
- Suitability of balance between showing and telling within sentences
- Spacing of chapters, paragraphs, sentences, lines and words.
Following a line or copyedit you will receive the marked-up manuscript (in MS Word and with Track Changes) and a bespoke style sheet showing the style decisions which have been made in relation to capitalisation, numbering, spelling and punctuation styles etc. within the manuscript.
Proofreading is carried out on the manuscript when it has been written, redrafted and edited so is almost ready for the final reader. Proofreading aims to catch issues of spelling and grammar which remain and other mistakes that may have still have slipped through. You will probably have read the manuscript so often by this stage that it will be harder for you to spot mistakes.
Traditionally proofreading is carried out after the manuscript has been typeset and the layout of the paragraphs, lines and words on the page can be viewed as they would be by the readership. A trained and experienced second pair of eyes will help to ensure that the manuscript is as good as it can be before the next reader, be that publisher, agent or the public get to read it.
It’s OK if you don’t know exactly which service you want, that’s what I’m here for! Drop me a line with the form below and I’ll get right back to you.