approximately .017-.03 a word
Line edits address line-by-line content (as per RWA’s “The Writing Life – a Glossary”). A line edit consists of noting issues such as: weak writing, sections of “telling” instead of “showing,” word usage (and over-usage), characterization, inconsistent characters, and story organization suggestions (along with pacing, continuity). I note instances of passive voice, but repairing/changing is up to you depending upon the severity. I monitor tag line and sentence-structure repetition and mark small changes in tone. I discuss dialogue authenticity and character/plot consistency (on a smaller scale than the editorial letter). I also give suggestions on how to fix the issues I’ve flagged.
Line edits also include attention to world-building. If the hero’s special tattoo glows when he’s near the Phoenix in chapter ten, I question why it’s glowing when next to the ocean in chapter twenty-five. If vampires have no fangs, but their teeth cut a human–I ask it be explained. World-building is about being logical and consistent within the rules created. If there are substantive chapter-to-chapter world-building inconsistencies, you may need an editorial letter. If we encounter this issue, I will contact you.
Things I have suggested during line edits: scenes be added/cut, sex be added/cut, modification of conflicts/threats to hero and heroine’s relationship, new goals/motivation/conflict for characters, removal of nose picking by the hero and removal of panty-hose-wearing by the heroine, character movement be added, character ages be adjusted, families be larger/smaller depending upon word-count, more personality for secondary characters, more flaws for the hero and heroine, more uncomfortable situations, less over-the-top sex, more believability/tension, and much, much more.
Line edits do not address deep, big–picture plot holes, but if there are a few, I will informally point them out.
Line edits are not fact checking, location analysis, grammar and punctuation correction, or the final, picky changes made to dialogue/scenes/sentences.
Line edits do not note chapter-by-chapter tone inconsistencies, inconsistent characters, dropped plot lines, or continuous flat, unnatural, confusing dialogue/sentences. Chapter-by-chapter, scene-by-scene problems are addressed during an editorial letter.