Line editors are sometimes called stylistic editors.
Their duties will sometimes overlap with the work of a copy editor or a substantive editor.
Line editing follows substantive editing, once the structure is in place.
Line editors are in love with words, delight in the perfect phrase, and have large vocabularies. They have a good sense of rhythm so they can choose whether to make your words flow like a lazy river, or pound like a hammer, depending on your message.
They read widely for the pure joy of it. They understand the creative use of punctuation. They love dictionaries and thesauri. (And they know that thesauri is the plural of thesaurus.)
Line editing is my favourite part of the writing process.
Every word, every punctuation mark, gets close attention. I get to make sure the language is both beautiful and powerful, that it carries the message in the best possible way. This is the artistic part of editing.
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