I have completed writing my first novel. What order should I start putting it in front of editors (copy, development, structural, etc.) before submitting it to an agent or publisher?
There are many models of editing from 3 to about 19 levels depending on the context and who is listing them.
I prefer the 5 level model:
- Developmental Editing – Concept Level Editing
Entire concepts and story angles may be redefined during developmental editing. This type of editing involves working with a writer as they are coming up with the overall theme of their article or story.
You do the above before you write Then after you write you do these:
- Substantive Editing – Paragraph Level Editing add information to support the theme remove information that does not support the theme reorganize paragraphs to improve flow of ideas revise sentence structure and organization to improve the reader’s experience
eliminating redundant, unnecessary words replacing repetitive words with synonyms substituting weak words, phrases, and sentences with powerful alternatives revising sentence structure to improve flow
Fact/Accuracy Checking – Information Level Editing
Proofreading – Word Level Editing SPAG typos grammar errors spelling inaccuracies punctuation errors (especially comma errors) capitalization errors verb tense issues (subject and verb disagreements) incorrect pronoun/article use improper spacing (spacing should usually be one space after each period) formatting inconsistencies
You will see many other versions depending on the context. Organizations will have many more to ensure things of interest to them such as image, lawsuit avoidance, yada yada. Editors will give a different view depending what they are trying to sell you. And there are others.
Canada has similar editing viewpoints but does differ slightly from usual USA view.