It is wonderful that a multitude of editing services are available online. Yet, it doesn't take long to note the variety of editing definitions within the industry. Below are pertinent definitions that describe methodology as well.
This is a very general review that often answers the key question, “Is my manuscript publishable?” We work up a short document (typically 2-3 pages) that addresses big-picture concerns and questions related to content, organization, and flow.
Developmental Edit (also called a critique or substantive edit)
Similar to the manuscript evaluation, the developmental edit addresses big-picture concerns. As appropriate for the genre (such as fiction, memoir, nonfiction), we look for issues concerning character development, content, structure, narrative arc, rising action, plausibility, organization, and flow . For this edit, we make review comments in the manuscript and compose a 10-20 page critique for the client.
This intensive edit focuses on sentence structure, tone, style, flow, and grammar and punctuation errors in the manuscript.
Given there may be some overhauling of sentences from the line edit, this edit is more intensive in terms of grammar and punctuation.
This is the final step and the polish. At this point, the manuscript should be very clean. Typos, misplaced words, and misspellings may be discovered and fixed at this stage.
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