Editing can be complex in that it has many different levels. It can even be overwhelming and confusing. No worries, though. OTS keeps it simple for you! Take at look at the many types of editing we offer.
While not technically considered a form of editing, a thorough evaluation/critique gives you the assurance that your story is headed down the right path. If it's not, a detailed report will aid you in getting it there before it's published. Any conflicts in timeline, scenes, plot, facts, character development, dialog, and any other important aspects that should be in your story will be laid out for you to review. The report is tough, but also full of easy to follow and constructive criticisms. Plus, you will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with your editor, who will offer assistance with building your story and strengthening your writing, brainstorm along with you, and recommend what other level of editing you may need. If your story is not complete, ask about our Express Evaluation!
This type of editing is also referred to as content editing. It is most commonly thought of as the most intensive type of editing, and typically done toward the beginning. However, that's not to say that it can't be done at any stage of your writing. Substantive editing deals with the "meat and potatoes" of your story. It makes sure the writing engages readers and moves forward in a compelling way. It picks apart the plot, timeline, setting, theme, characters, dialog, and the style and writing mechanics used throughout the story. It also deals with the story's marketability for its genre and target audience, and makes sure you're sticking by the "show, don't tell" standard in writing. You can expect to do lots of heavy rewrites, but don't forget: substantive editing won't cover any type of copy or line editing, and no direct changes will be made to your manuscript.
All done with your rewrites, and re-re-writes? That means it's time for a line editor to slash through your story like a bad horror film (and possibly tell you to re-re-re-write it). Line editing dives back into your work, line by line, and primarily focuses on the language and the content being used. Does the dialog make sense? Is the sentence structure clear and enjoyable? Do the scenes flow smoothly? Did you put your use of clunky adverbs and cliches into overdrive? Is the phrasing natural and smooth and have a good pace? Not only do line editors improve readabilty, they also find plot holes that still exist, shed light on how to improve the story, and give you pointers on the content. As mentioned, you can expect to do some rewrites at this point. Line editing does not, however, fix typos, spelling errors, or punctuation mistakes. It is often partnered with copy editing, which does.
Remember those book reports you did in third grade? You'd get them back and they'd look as though the teacher had gotten a little too red-pen-happy all over your perfect page because you missed a comma or two. Well, welcome to copy editing! Copy editing is a moderate level edit where any typos, punctuation errors, spelling, and grammar mistakes are directly corrected in the manuscript. It is usually done toward the end, near the final stages of your manuscript. Copy editing also addresses sentence structure, text fluidity, verb tense, word order and choice, and any over-writing that may have occurred. You shouldn't have to do any exhaustive rewrites at this point. All corrections are made here, and everything is tweaked to near-perfection. This type of editing really gives your work a professional and polished feel.
To keep it short and sweet, a comprehensive edit is a combination of services. Four different types of editing are completed, each requiring their own unique and separate pass over the manuscript. This ensures a thorough edit in all of the following areas:
Developmental/Substantive Edit for content and marketability
Line Edit for language and to check for areas that need improvement
Copy Edit for grammar, punctuation, typos
Proofread as a final read-through to check for any uncorrected errors
Yes, this is a "package deal" itself, but it is not the only package OTS has to offer!
Ask us about combining any of our services for a bigger discount!