What are the different stages of editing?

Novels go through at least four stages of editing before publication:

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1) Big Picture Editing

(also known as Developmental, Substantive or Structural Editing)

This type of editing focuses on your manuscript as a whole and making the story ‘work’. It addresses strengths and weaknesses in areas such as plot, character, theme, voice, point of view, pace and style.

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2) Line Editing

This focuses on your manuscript at a paragraph and sentence level to ensure that the storytelling flows. Editing addresses areas such as transitions, phrasing, voice-slips, dialogue and exposition.

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3) Copy Editing

Copy editing focuses on the refinement of grammar, punctuation, spelling and consistency. In-house style guides are often used to prepare the manuscript for publication.

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4) Proofreading

Proofreading focuses on typos and errors that have been missed in the earlier stages of editing. This is the final polish before publication.

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First and foremost, I’m a big picture editor, although I sometimes offer line editing to clients who have already had an Uplift Full Manuscript Critique.

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