Editing styles

What does your manuscript need?

Don’t be confused if you’re not sure what to call the type of editing you want. Different editors, publishers, reference books, and schools use different terms for them. Here’s a breakdown:

Copyediting and proofreading

Copyediting and proofreading correct mechanics while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text. These are a package deal from My Two Cents Editing; every manuscript gets two passes: the first pass by a senior editor, the second pass by an eagle-eyed proofreader.

  • Corrects mechanics
    • Spelling
    • Grammar
    • Punctuation
    • Syntax
    • Word usage
  • Checks for or imposes a consistent style (we default to the Chicago Manual of Style)
    • Treatment of numbers and numerals
    • Treatment of quotations
    • Use of abbreviations and acronyms
    • Use of italics and bold type

Line editing or substantive editing

Line editing, also called substantive editing, addresses issues of clarity, accuracy, and sense.

  • Reorganizes structure at the paragraph, section, or chapter level to improve clarity
  • Improves readability and flow by writing, rewriting, or deleting material

Developmental editing

Developmental editing is a collaboration between author and editor to develop a manuscript from an initial concept, outline, or draft (or some combination of the three) through any number of subsequent drafts.

The editor may:

  • Make suggestions about content, organization, and presentation based on analysis of competing works, comments of expert reviewers, and the client’s market analysis
  • Research, rewrite, and write

Content editing, story editing, or manuscript critique

If you have concerns about your book’s bigger picture, a manuscript critique is a great way to identify areas and avenues for improvement. Check out my manuscript critique page for more information.


Let us help you decide which editing style your project needs.

Request a free Discovery Session now!