Step 2: Is the writing good?
A line edit will answer the basic question, Is the writing good? Is there a variety of sentence structures and lengths? Are any words overused? Is the grammar correct?
For a line edit, I read your manuscript line-by-line and suggest changes (using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes and Comment features) to improve the writing. I do not address deeper issues such as story structure or characterization in a line edit. (A Manuscript Critique will do that.)
Line edits include fixing errors such as subject/verb agreement; antecedent/pronoun agreement; incorrect verb tense; and misused words. Line editing suggestions include eliminating passive voice and offering stronger noun and verb choices.
In a line edit, I also offer rewrite suggestions for fragment and/or run-on sentences (when those choices have gone from stylistic to confusing) and suggest when to break apart or join together paragraphs.
I recommend doing a Line Edit when you feel comfortable you have no large rewrites ahead of you due to plot holes, timeline issues, or other deep structure changes. In other words, do a Line Edit when you are confident your story structure is great, but you are unsure your writing sparkles enough to show off that structure.