Editing is many different things. Here is a description of what I do. Others may not do all these, or some may do more so please check before hiring.
- Manuscript assessment. I do an overall assessment of your novel, and
your strengths and weaknesses. If I find specific problems, I comment on them and make suggestions for improvements. Other things I will just change. I use word and track changes so you can see what I have done.
- Content editing.
I look at the structure, content, and style of your novel and I comment on specific problems and structural difficulties. I also read and record poor pacing, plot inconsistencies, dialogue that doesn't flow, characters that are undeveloped, style problems
and 'untidy' writing.
- Line editing. I edit at the sentence level, focusing on paragraph and sentence structure, word use, dialogue, etc., with the aim of creating a smooth prose flow.
- Copy editing.
I correct standard errors (grammar, spelling, punctuation), incorrect word usage (their, there and they're is a classic one), and continuity problems.
- Proofreading. I check for typos, spelling and punctuation errors, formatting mistakes,
and other minor errors.
I am a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. I have done some tests with them, and also with ProofreadAnywhere.
I decided to do something else I enjoy as a job, and I love reading. Ok it not just
reading, it's a lot harder work than that, but I still enjoy it. Although I love reading, I get distracted by mistakes if there are any. Basic grammar and spelling distract me from the story, but changes of characters names, towns, and villages, and names
of houses send me right off track, and I have to start re-reading to work out who is who and where they are. Total changes to the plot (yes it does happen) just make me wonder why they have such good reviews. I suspect most are from friends and family.
I can tell who has just used spellchecker on their manuscript and I guess a lot of other readers can too. If a word is spelt correctly it passes, whether it is the right word or not. Many times the characters change sex because he/she/her often are typed
wrongly and just pass through. Characters names also frequently change their spelling as people just tell spellchecker to ignore without making sure they have stuck to one spelling. Lots of Anne's are Ann's before the book is finished!
It is not easy
to edit something you have written yourself, as the words and sentences come out as you meant them to not as they are on paper. That's why it is better to have it done professionally. So here I am a book editor. So if you or anyone you know is writing that
book they believe they have inside them, remember my name!!!