A good editor does NOT just start chopping away at a clients manuscript. They should give the entire work a complete read through first, only correcting minor and obvious punctuation errors...This is to give the editor a sense of the writers style, form and nuances.Rachel Mattison published a short, to-the-point article for Wordpreneur that gives us a good insight into how a professional editor should approach his/her job:

How to be a Professional Editor

Editing and proofing is more than a review for grammar and punctuation errors. It is an art. It takes intuition and a humble reverence for the author and the intentions of the piece. These skills are not inherent in any editor who can spot parallel sentence structure and comma splices. These are skills that take time to develop; they require a visceral understanding of all that is packed between the lines as well.

The initial read through is one of the most important steps. Editors, by nature, are perfectionists. We are not going to be able to give it a first pass without at least noting the first few changes. But try and leave it at that. Do not dive into the details right away. Give the writer her due and read the entire piece beginning to end to absorb the voice and tone, discover the key elements of what makes it great to begin with, and you will be much better prepared to make useful suggestions in the second phase.

Be careful to ask yourself if your suggestions change the meaning of the words. Sometimes you will be dealing with a subject matter that is not first nature to you. A poorly written sentence may need some attention, but tread lightly when it comes to recommending an overhaul. You may end up missing the point entirely and turning off the author. Instead, insert a comment and ask a question that will lead the author to reconsider his approach.

Read more http://alturl.com/n8rza