You have a story you’ve worked hard to create and write down. Before you send your creation out into the world for readers to find, you want your story front and center with the read as smooth as possible. To that end, I offer three services. My areas of focus are fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction.
What I Give You: For editing, your manuscript marked up using the “track changes” feature in Word. For a critique, your manuscript with notes in the margins and additional notes via email. All services rendered online and include a reasonable number of follow-up emails.
Copy Edit with Proofing
Copy Edit means I check grammar, look for incorrect punctuation, and indicate spelling errors.
This is the type of polish you want if your writing is where you want it and your story is solid, but don’t think you caught all the typos on your own.
I go over your manuscript twice. After my first pass, you can choose to accept or decline each change I’ve indicated. You then send it back to me for a final proofing (the second pass). When finished, I’ll send you a “clean” manuscript.
Line Edit plus Copy Edit with Proofing
Line Edit includes a Copy Edit, but adds another layer of editing. On a line-by-line basis, I look for awkward word choice — dangling participles and so forth — as well as sentence and paragraph flow. I also indicate inconsistencies in formatting if ease of reading is interrupted.
In this edit, I go over your manuscript three times. You receive your marked-up manuscript back and choose which edits to keep or reject, send it back to me for a second quick Copy Edit, and we’ll pass it back and forth one last time for final proofing.
This is the type of edit you want if you feel good about the story elements but acknowledge your writing may a bit clunky in some patches. This is not what is generally called a “deep edit” in which craft issues such as character development and plot logic might be rearranged.
Writers sometimes worry an editor will “hack up” their story. One of my guiding principles is to leave the writer’s voice intact and the basic story unmolested. And with the Track Changes feature of Word documents, you have the option to accept or reject each change I’ve suggested.
Basic Craft Critique
Whether you’re a self-published author or a small press with a client whose novel you want to publish, your budget is important to you. Before you spend money having your novel edited you may consider having the manuscript checked for possible craft problems.
Basic Craft Critique means I look at the following elements, several or all of which may require your further attention:
- Character presentation and development;
- Plot and subplots;
- Point of view transitions;
- Description (word choice);
- Dialogue, including how it balances with action scenes;
- Time and place, including use of flashbacks;
- Consistency of narrative voice;
- Underlying theme(s);
- Whether your story elements are appropriate to your stated genre;
- Overall readability.
You’ll receive your manuscript back with my notes in the margins plus an email report with additional comments. This is honest, constructive criticism of the elements outlined above. The primary function of my Craft Critique is to help you decide if your manuscript is ready for an edit, or if it could use some rewriting first.
What a Craft Critique is not:
- Brief feedback of the sort family and friends have given you;
- A book review you can quote on your website or jacket copy;
- A replacement for writing workshops and classes;
- A rewrite (that’s up to the author);
- A guarantee that if you follow my suggestions your book will be a bestseller.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED
All three of these services begin with three steps:
- You give me information via the query form on my Pricing and Getting Started page;
- You send me a sample of your work after I review the information you’ve provided;
- You decide if you want to continue after receiving mark-ups of the sample you’ve sent me (also known as “try before you buy”).
For further details, please visit my Pricing and Getting Started page. Thank you for your interest in my services and I wish you the best of luck in your writing endeavors.
Manuscripts I Have Worked On
Title: The Furthest Palm
Author: Rodger Jacobs
Publisher: Silver Birch Press
My Client: Author
My Role: Story Curator
Author: Deji Olukotun
Publisher: Ricochet Books
My Client: Publisher
My Role: Line Edit, Proof