There are many stages of editing. It can get confusing because the labels are interchangeable, you may not need every level, and the different tasks can overlap, causing some gray area. I think of editing as artistic vs mechanical. I hang out in the more subjective area of mechanics.
- Developmental Edit (aka structural or substantive edit)
A developmental editor zooms out to review the big picture of your story, such as the theme, structure, and sadfsplot.
- Line Edit (aka Style Edit)
A line editor reviews artistic elements of your writing, such as voice and tone, word choice, inconsistencies, and clichés. They will suggest re-writes intended to make your prose more effective.
- Copy Editing
A copy editor corrects errors in grammar and sentence structure. They also rely on style guides to give your manuscript a professional look and to ensure consistency.
A proofreader corrects spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and other issues that could spoil a reader’s enjoyment of your writing. Proofreaders also look for typographical and layout issues, such as the wrong typeface in one of your chapter headings or awkwardly spaced lines within the text.