What is story or substantive editing


Editing is a very complex thing, and it’s important to look at the terms editors use to decide that they are or are not the editor for you.

Story or substantive editing is a deep form of editing that looks at structure, flow, and viability of the storyline and characters.  It’s often combined with Line editing (or as it’s also known, copy editing), but not always.

Story editor or book doctor

While there is a lot of debate about this in the indie community, it’s important to loook at whether you’re getting value for money, and most people who ‘coach’ or ‘book doctor’ books may want you to rewrite the book, or, if you pay them, they may do it themselves.  Be very cautious with book doctors – pre-self-publishing of course – book doctors were considered to be bad form. They were often attached to vanity projects.

See also: Do I need to accept all suggested edits?, Do I need to do all three levels of editing?. Can I self-edit and publish?