Developmental Edit – better known as content editing, story editing, structural editing, or substantive editing. This edit looks at the big picture of your novel and focuses on:
- character arcs/development
- story structure
- plot holes or inconsistencies
- strong beginning, middle, and end
- clear transitions
- point of view
- showing vs. telling
Copy Edit – is the one most of us think of when we hear edit. It is completed after the developmental edit and cleans things up. This edit is the line by line with a focus on:
- redundant words
- inconsistencies/continuity errors
- awkward sentence structure
The proofread- I never thought of a proofreader as an editor, but in all reality he is. The proofreader checks your manuscript for lingering errors, missed commas, and typos. It may be tempting to skip this step or do it yourself. Keep in mind, you’ve read the book so many times you will be blind to any lingering errors. You need an unfamiliar eye.
I’m not sure where you are in the writing process, but you do need to know the proper steps to take before submitting your work. Remember as stated above, you don’t see the errors. You are so familiar with your work the errors become invisible. Your brain actually fills in the holes as you read.
I didn’t have this information and submitted my work to several different agencies after I ‘edited’ it and had a few friends read through it. Needless to say, I got nothing but rejections. I followed up on suggestions, and that’s when I realized just how bad the manuscript was. I couldn’t believe I sent such shoddy work to an agent. I was embarrassed and glad I hadn’t met the agents in person.
Hope this helped!