What’s the difference between proofreading and editing?
As a proofreader, I will correct the following, amongst other things:
- Spelling errors
- Punctuation errors
- Grammatical errors
- Obviously missing or duplicated words
- Misapplied or inconsistent tenses
- Wrongly-assigned dependent clauses (dangling modifiers)
Editors will perform services such as: suggesting cutting out characters; changing or omitting dialogue; changing the narrative arc of the novel; moving chapters around; various other suggestions that will in their opinion improve the book. I don’t alter the writer’s work apart from correcting it. However, I include copy editing (another offshoot!) in my brief; for example, I will point out anomalies of plot or continuity if I notice them. I will also comment if I think that a word or phrase is repeated too many times in a paragraph, and sometimes suggest alternatives.
Therefore, I emphasise that proofreading should take place as the final stage before your work is ready for publication. …
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