This is the "big picture" editing.
When a professional developmental editor approaches each book these are some of the questions that provide the basis of what they are looking for. They may vary from project to project and genre but these are questions that should be considered in detail.
Does the structure of the book make sense?
Is the presentation logical?
Is there a wider story arc that engages the reader and pulls them through the narrative?
Has a coherent viewpoint been applied? Is it consistent? Does it make sense for the story?
Does the chapter structure make sense? Does the writer understand scene structure?
Have narrative techniques been correctly applied?
Does each scene contain sufficient description?
Is each new character sufficiently described?
Is the tense consistent?
Is the characterization believable and consistent?
Are the characters sufficiently developed?
Are there any obvious plot holes?
If the novel is set in the past, are there any inconsistencies in the use of objects etc.?
Does the book's voice, style and format match the genre expectations?
Is the writer telling, when they should be showing?
Are the facts accurate?
Does the book's word count meet the genre expectations?
If a prologue is used, does it match the genre and make sense to the wider narrative?
Does the book need an introduction?
Does the book need additional end material, such as bibliography or epilogue?
If relevant, is the book correctly referenced?
If images, tables and diagrams have been used, has the copyright been correctly attributed? (Non-fiction)
If included, are all footnotes or endnotes correctly presented and formatted? (Non-Fiction)
Copy Editing & Line Editing
Copy Editing: Sometimes called Proof Reading. We check for punctuation, grammar, spelling and limit our formatting to page numbering, paragraph indents, and chapters number correctly.
Line Editing is a detailed line by line look at the story, to find syntax errors, sentence and paragraph structure, readability, consistency in characters to name a few.