Editing Styles

What kind of editing do you need?

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what type of editing you want. Different editors, publishers, reference books, and schools use different terms for them. Here’s a breakdown, starting with the absolute last step first.

Copyediting and proofreading

Copyediting and proofreading deal with language. They 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 Meghan Pinson, the second by her eagle-eyed proofreader.

As of May 1, 2018, we will only accept copyediting projects that have been through our critique process.

Copyediting tasks

  • Correct mechanics: spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, word usage
  • Impose a consistent style*: treatment of numbers and numerals, quotations, abbreviations, acronyms, italics, bold type

*We default to the Chicago Manual of Style.

Line editing or substantive editing

Line editing, also called substantive editing, is deep copyediting. It also deals with language, but also addresses issues of clarity, accuracy, and sense.

Line editing tasks

  • Work with structure at the paragraph, section, or chapter level to improve clarity
  • Improve 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.

Developmental editing tasks

  • 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 our manuscript critique page for excellent options at every price point.

Mentorship & developmental editing

Our mentorship program developed out of the realization that some of our clients got stuck after bringing their novels to us for critique. This was something we’d wanted to do for years: How to not just tell writers what they need to do, but to also teach them how to do it.

This January (with the help of a brilliant book called Deep Work by Cal Newport), we figured it out.

We’ve been working with a select few clients to help them bring their books further up the road to publication. Some are outlining and writing first drafts, some are deep in revisions, some are preparing to submit or self-publish. Each mentorship is a unique collaboration that begins with a mini critique or a comprehensive manuscript critique.

Components of a mentorship with My Two Cents Editing

Identify a few wildly ambitious goals.

For example, “Finish a first draft by X date,” “Tighten the story arc,” “Create compelling character arcs,” or “Submit to 25 agents this month.”

Research market and craft.

Reading homework? Libraries and bookstores? Huzzah!

Produce work that will lead to a stronger manuscript.

This is measured in terms of outlines, scenes, drafts, pages, etc.

Set a cadence of accountability.*

Weekly or twice-weekly check-ins will help you stay on track to meet your goals.

Interested in our mentorship program? Drop us a line using the form below and ask to see our Mentor Notes.

*Language borrowed from Cal Newport’s book Deep Work.


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