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  • Writer's pictureBreanna Call

The Types of Editing: Know Which Kind Does What

Learn each phase of the editing process and how they all will improve your work in progress.

Two stacks of blank paper.
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

As a writer, you’re likely familiar with the term “editing.” It’s all about revisions and corrections and new drafts. Right? Of course! But there’s so much more to editing than that.

The word “editing” encompasses what professional editors do in only a general sense. To get to the specifics of what “editing” means for your work in progress (WIP), you need to understand the different types of professional editing. You read that right—there’s more than one kind. And the more familiar you are with each type of editing, the better you’ll be able to identify which kind of editing you’re looking for.

Of course, every WIP would benefit from all the phases of editing. But if you’re looking for a specific type of feedback, you’re going to need to know which phase of editing to plan for.

It is important to note that there are no hard and fast definitions for the types of editing, and some editors will vary in what they offer for each level. The definitions below detail what to expect from the editing process in general, with additional information specific to Ever Editing.


1. Developmental Editing

As the first phase of editing, developmental editing is also referred to as “substantive editing.” It focuses on the big-picture stuff. It involves the most collaboration between the writer and editor. Your editor will lo