I currently offer two levels of service: copy editing and content/developmental editing. The scope of each of these types of editing differs from editor to editor, so I’ve defined what I provide with each level of editing below.
Copy editing incorporates proofreading tasks, which involves correcting simple errors such as:
Spelling – "An appel a day keeps the doctor away."
Homophones – "There mother called them home."
Grammar – "He gave it to my sister and I."
Punctuation – "Kiss me." she said.
Capitalization – "What's the deal," He asked.
Then it goes a step further to address more complex issues, such as:
Word choice/phrasing – Looking for places where another word might better convey your meaning
Verb tense – If you're writing in past tense, ensuring that you don't slip into present tense
Point of view – Making sure you don't "head hop," that you share each scene from a consistent point of view
Repetition – Ensuring you vary your word choices so a noticeable word isn't repeated in the same area
Sentence structure – Reworking some sentences to ensure variety in length and structure
Clarity – Pointing out areas for potential rewrite that aren't easy to follow
Tone – Pointing out issues that don't "feel" right, such as when a character speaks in a way that doesn't match their personality (e.g. a teenager that talks like a college professor, or an inexplicably jocular tone in a serious murder mystery)
Flow – Looking for a natural rise and fall of storytelling, and making small adjustments to smooth it out
Consistency – Ensuring you use certain conventions the same way every time (such as commas before too), as well as ensuring details remain consistent (such as a character's eye color)
Content/developmental editing can be different depending your manuscript. For some it may involve substantial rewriting or restructuring of sentences; for others it may focus on improving plot and/or characterization.
In either event, it includes all of the proofreading and copy editing functions, and addresses the below questions as needed:
Plot development – Do you actually have a plot? Does it follow a natural path and have a satisfying conclusion? Do you leave any plot threads dangling?
Character development – Is your main character interesting and believable? Does he/she grow through the story?
Balance – Is there a good balance of dialogue, narrative, action, introspection, and back story?
Tension – Do you ramp up the tension, or does your plot drag?
Pacing – Is your writing tight? Do you slow the pace down with too much back story?
Although it doesn't happen often, if I feel major rewriting and/or restructuring needs to be done by you, I will perform copy editing on a significant portion of the manuscript to illustrate technical areas in which you can improve, and focus the majority of my efforts on larger issues that need to be addressed first. The balance of the copy editing will need to be addressed in a separate edit after your rewrites are completed.