What! There’s more than one type of editing?
In case you didn’t already know, yes! And this is a good thing, believe me. Your book (or article, report, story, etc.) will be the result of outlining, several drafts, multiple rounds of editing, and blood1—not necessarily in that order and never quite as planned. Just as every writer’s creative process is unique, so too is each stage in the life cycle of a manuscript. Generally speaking though, at some point there’s something like an outline (even if only after the first draft is attempted), a first and subsequent drafts, at least one round of developmental editing, some rounds of structural, stylistic, and/or copyediting, and finally, proofreading. Each stage has a different focus and brings your work closer to its greatest potential.
Types of Editing
1 Some great writer (though no one can agree who) once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”