Developmental editing is an assessment of plot structure and pacing, story themes, characters and character development, organization, and consistency. It’s about the big picture.
A developmental edit will include a written evaluation of your overall manuscript with regard to the above topics as well as notes in the document using Microsoft’s Track Changes. You’ll receive recommendations for changes and questions to consider as you revise (and, of course, praise for the elements that are already great!).
Line editing is all about your writing style—your word choices, sentence and paragraph structure, and flow. The goal of a line edit is to ensure that you are using language in the best possible way to convey the story and tone you want.
Via an in-manuscript editing tool (such as Track Changes), you’ll receive notes and suggestions about tightening up language, clarification, reorganization, and sections that aren’t (or are) working well. A line edit will give you guidance that will help not only your current manuscript, but your future writing as well.
Have you already received developmental feedback from an editor or other writers? Have you pored through your manuscript and made it the best it can be? Does it need one last polish before you send it to agents, editors, and publishers? Then you need a proofread.
Proofreading is the last step, in which we find those typos, punctuation, and grammar errors that can creep in during the revision process. Corrections will come back to you in the manuscript, via Microsoft’s Track Changes or similar tool.