Editing is necessary but not a favorite activity for most authors. Even though we all know how important it is to have a well edited, professional manuscript to present to agents, publishers or to self-publish.
I know the more I edit my own work the less I find wrong and the less objective I am. It is hard to step away from your work and see it with fresh eyes and notice where there are holes in the story, especially since it is a story you created.
Taking a break from the story and working on something else or nothing at all is helpful. I also find reading aloud allows me to pick up mistakes I did not catch upon reading.
There are editors available for hire and until recently I did not know that there were different types of editors.
I always thought of editing as line editing or copy editing. This editing is when you look for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax. You are also editing for a consistent style, voice and format; overall clarity for the reader and cross checking facts and references.
There are also developmental editors who can help with your whole concept and research and re-writing.
Unless you do not have a complete concept or need a lot of hand holding this is probably not an editing service many people will be using.
If you feel you need a little more help with your editing than a line edit the substantive editing or content editing may be what you need. This form of editing will identify and solve problems, help with overall clarity and accuracy. This editor can help with reorganizing paragraphs, sections of chapters and improving the order in which the story is presented. They will work to make sure your story has the best flow and readability.
There last editor that you would use before publication will be a proof reading editor. This persons job is to check the final copy for typesetting, specifications, formatting and typographical errors.
I am on my third edit. During the first one I found all the point of view (pov) changes that I made willy-nilly, on the second edit I found most of the tense mistakes I made, it appears I like them twice as much as pov changes.
During this edit I am working to make the dialogue more individual and true to the character and catching all the rest of the tense changes. Of course, since I am about to submit my baby to editors and agents I am looking at it with a lot more criticism and self-doubt so I am trying to make the writing better, more intelligent, more showing less telling, all the stuff I wish had just magically happened on the first draft.
Please wish me luck with this final pass, because as I mentioned before I am getting weary of reading my own words. I may be missing out on some objectivity and desire.