First of all, I think it’s important to distinguish between the types. There are a lot of different kinds of editing out there, and it can be tricky to figure out which one you need. The following are the three most common:
Content (also known as developmental or structural) editing is done first. The story is taken as a whole and evaluated for consistency, (factual) accuracy, and coherence.
Copy editing is grammar. Grammar, word choice, further understandability- the stage at which your writing becomes less idea and more technically solid. This comes after a couple of rewrites, once you’re solidly in the polishing stage.
Proofreading, finally, is copyediting on the smallest scale. Any tiny, technical details that need to be corrected are corrected- capitalization, numbers (spelled-out or numerical?), spelling- the works.
I completely understand why people like to do these sorts of edits themselves- cheaper (free?), you don’t have to worry about another person reading and finding all of your mistakes in your story, you have more control- but there is something to be said for having another person look at it. My content editor found things I never would have noticed by myself, and these things were… kind of important.
I’m offering content editing services now, and if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve heard far too much about this already. I’m excited! I’ve done a lot of editing in the past, both for myself and for friends, and I can’t wait to read your stories, too.
The general critique will include a summary of my thoughts coming away from your project, a list of broad suggestions, along with major strengths and weaknesses that I noticed while editing. The chapter and chapter-by-chapter critiques will be more specific, focusing on each individual chapter that you provide. I will include any suggestions or ideas necessary in either inline comment or in list form.
A final note: please don’t send me erotica, horror, occult, mystery, or religious fiction! I have less experience reading these genres than I do with most others, and I don’t feel as though I am qualified to edit and critique them in the way that they deserve. Thank you!
Hope you’re having a good day,