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A final check for mechanical errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation; checking for typos and inconsistent spacing, as well as examining material after layout or in its final format to correct or highlight errors in textual and visual elements. The material may be read in isolation or against a previous version. Proofreading may include checking for adherence to design; for spelling mistakes or deviations from style sheet; and ensuring no errors have been introduced in previous rounds of editing. Proofreading is the final stage of “quality assurance” before publication and is not a substitute for thorough copy editing.
Editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, typos, and correct usage; checking for consistency of internal rules for capitalization, unique spellings, and treatment of numbers within the text; checking for consistency and continuity of mechanics and facts within the text; and correcting and querying general information that should be checked for accuracy. Copy editing cleans the text prior to publication, removing pesky writing hiccups that could distract your reader from enjoying your writing.
(Also called content or substantive editing) an in-depth assessment of various elements of the manuscript, including (where relevant) plot, characterization, world building or setting, pacing, language, transitions, clarity, and continuity, etc. The feedback will assess the ‘big picture’ issues of the story and point out strengths and weaknesses relating to major plot elements, narration, and overarching themes. The feedback will also highlight areas which may require more detail or may be confusing for readers. Developmental editing may also include detailed character feedback, including commentary on dialogue, relationships, consistency and believability, and effectiveness of introduction or backstory. The developmental edit may also assess the way the manuscript unfolds, the logical sequence of events, and the final resolution of the story. Comments and feedback are made in the manuscript document, highlighting particular lines or paragraphs. A separate developmental summary may be provided depending on the scope of the project, as all developmental edits are tailored to a manuscript’s specific needs.
(Also called stylistic editing) a line-by-line edit to clarify meaning, ensure coherence and flow, and refine the language. This may include eliminating jargon, clichés, and ineffective euphemisms; establishing or maintaining the language level appropriate for the intended audience, medium, and purpose; adjusting the length and structure of sentences and paragraphs; or establishing and maintaining tone, mood, style, and authorial voice or level of formality. Line editing also serves to improve overall readability and engagement for the reader, smoothing jarring or clunky phrasing, enhancing descriptions and imagery, and eliminating repetition or grammatical errors.
(Also called manuscript assessment or evaluation) a broad examination of aspects such as plot structure, characterization and character arcs, narrative voice, consistency and continuity, etc. A critique takes the form of a written report explaining areas for potential improvement and offering advice for how to tweak or expand on your manuscript’s content to refine the overall quality of the book. Using examples from the text, the editor’s feedback will also highlight areas which require more detail or may be confusing for readers, as well as point out inconsistencies in tone and narrative voice. Manuscript critiques are less example-heavy than developmental editing but are still an effective way to obtain detailed feedback and suggestions. No comments are made in the manuscript itself. Instead, constructive criticism and suggestions are given as a written report so the author can review the overall advice organized by topic and relevance.
An analysis of the first 5,000–10,000 words of a manuscript to assess aspects such as effective establishment of the premise, introduction of characters and essential settings, suitability of narrative voice and pacing, or missing details and explanations that may harm reader engagement and comprehension, etc. Relevant elements will be determined by the editor and addressed in the hook assessment. The editor’s feedback will also highlight areas which require more detail or may be confusing for readers, as well as make detailed suggestions, with examples, to improve the manuscript’s overall hook. Comments and feedback are made in the manuscript document, highlighting particular lines or paragraphs to ensure the author can pinpoint where and how to make suggested improvements.
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