Editing for publication is a three-tiered process, as shown below. I carry out a complete professional edit of your work; not simply a check of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Structural editing and copy-editing take place before your document is typeset (formatted) for publication; proofreading takes place after your document is typeset.
1) Structural editing: structural editing (also known as ‘developmental editing’) is all about the bigger picture. It enables me to understand the whole story and make sense of all the parts. A structural edit always involves at least one read through of your typescript, analysing such things as narrative voice, plot and structure, point of view, writing style, pace, character, dialogue, and the beginning, middle and end of the story. At this stage, you may be required to rewrite if there are serious issues with the above.
2) Copy-editing: after structural editing has been carried out and any revisions have been made, copy-editing can take place. I check the text for anomalies and errors with regards to such things as timing and continuity, loose ends, consistency of detail and irrelevant details, errors of fact, repetition, copyright and libel, as well as spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
3) Proofreading: after structural editing and copy-editing, and once your typescript has been typeset for the pre-publishing stage, I can carry out proofreading. This involves checking the text for any last-minute errors and omissions before the document is finally printed.
Generally, I tend to receive requests to carry out structural editing and copy-editing, especially if an author is planning to submit their typescript to a literary agent or carry out self-publishing themselves, but proofreading is a necessary part of the editing process and should not be overlooked, even if I am not the editor to carry it out. It is possible for mistakes to be missed (or even created) during the copy-editing stage.
To help you choose the service you need, please note the following:
- If your typescript has had no professional editing, you will need to start with structural editing.
- If your typescript has received a professional structural edit and you have proof of this, I can carry out copy-editing.
- If your typescript is at the pre-publishing stage, and has been professionally edited, I can carry out proofreading.
- If you have already self-published your novel with no previous professional editing, you will need to start with a structural edit.