My last article, on the pitfalls of self-editing, provoked some discussion about the different types of editing. There’s certainly a lot of confusion around, and it’s not surprising.
There’s line editing, copy-editing, developmental editing, structural editing, substantive editing, and then proofreading. Editors can hardly agree on exactly what’s involved in each type, and that’s because it can be difficult to draw definite lines between each one.
But authors, since they are often the ones paying for the service, need to be aware of what kind of editing their manuscripts need and what is involved in each type.
And it’s all not so complicated. There are really only three types of editing. Everything else is another name for the same thing or an overlap of two. Fortunately, there can be no confusion about proofreading, so let’s start there. [Read more…]