Copy editing is an extensive process that closely evaluates the technical aspects of a manuscript, focussed on improving the readability of the overall piece. This form of editing is designed to address flaws within the text; a sentence-level exploration that highlights grammatical errors and logical inconsistencies.
Working closely with the author, a copy editor will draw attention to discrepancies within character and setting, ensure the continuity of description and dialogue, and will question any factual inaccuracies. The purpose of this edit is also to point out strategic structural improvements and sieve unintentional errors from the manuscript. This form of editing ensures that the work is fit for publication.
Although copy editing does bear similarities to proofreading, it is a much more complex process that helps to tune and polish a story.
A copy editor will examine the following key features:
- Grammar, spelling and syntax usage
- Inconsistencies in presentation, capitalisation and hyphenation
- How convincingly description, setting and plot are achieved
- Consistency and plausibility of character behaviour
- The relevance and accuracy of facts