What is the Difference Between Copyediting and Line Editing?

“Many authors don’t fully grasp the difference between a line edit and a copyedit. There are some similarities between the two: both pay detailed attention to your use of language, and involve mark-up on the pages of your manuscript. But make no mistake, these are two completely different processes, handled by professionals with different skill sets, and should occur at very different times during the writing process.

What’s a Line Edit?A line edit addresses the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level. But the purpose of a line edit is not to comb your manuscript for errors – rather, a line edit focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader. Is your language clear, fluid, and pleasurable to read? Does it convey a sense of atmosphere, emotion, and tone? Do the words you’ve chosen convey a precise meaning, or are you using broad generalizations and clichés?”

Source: What is the Difference Between Copyediting and Line Editing?

What is the Difference Between Copyediting and Line Editing?

“…By contrast, the goal of a copyedit is to address flaws on a very technical level – to make sure the writing that appears on the page is in accordance with industry standards. This is like an incredibly high-end proofread.

A copyedit: Corrects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax

Ensures consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization

Flags ambiguous or factually incorrect statements (especially important for non-fiction)

Tracks macro concerns like internal consistency.Internal consistency means your plot, setting, and character traits don’t have discrepancies.

For example if on page 41 you write: Rosemary wore her blond hair in a bun, and then on page 67 you write Rosemary brushed her long black hair, it’s a copyeditor’s job to point that out.”

Source: What is the Difference Between Copyediting and Line Editing?