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You might want copy editing if:
- Your manuscript includes everything it needs, is structured well, and all the writing is finished.
- Your manuscript has previously been reviewed or copy edited.
- Your manuscript is ready for a final polish.
What copy editing includes:
- Review organizational elements to ensure the reader can find, understand, and act on necessary information.
- Address gaps in arguments, narrative, and elements of story.
- Address flow of ideas, logic, scenes, transitions, narrative arc.
- Correct all errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage.
- Flag any major issues that should probably still be considered.
- Address clarity, consistency, and language at the sentence and word level.
- Address typographic, layout, and design elements.
- Ensure visual elements are well designed and easy to understand.
- Address repetition of ideas and motifs.
- Improve paragraph and sentence construction to more effectively convey meaning.
- Pay close attention to elements like point of view, narrative voice, dialogue, and overall story structure.
- Check facts.
- Check references and citations.
- Improve word choice to more effectively convey meaning, maintain authorial voice, and improve narrative flow.
- Reduce or eliminate jargon and other specialized terminology.
- Ensure conformation to the chosen style guide.
- Create a style sheet or add to an existing style sheet, as necessary.
Address any questions or areas of concern from you, the author.
What you will get back from a copy edit:
- A copy of the revised file(s) showing all tracked changes and comments with detailed questions, suggestions, explanations, and examples.
- A copy of the revised file(s) with all changes accepted and only comments remaining. (Useful to compare to when reviewing changes.)
- A style sheet documenting style and editorial decisions.
- For fiction and narrative non-fiction, separate style sheets for characters, timeline, world building, and settings, as appropriate.