I borrow my core editing philosophy from SF author/editor Damon Knight: “Begin from a position of respect for the writer, and single out disturbing flaws within a context of appreciation.”
As your editor, I’m working on three levels: as a detective to test your story for plot holes and inconsistencies; as your co-pilot to guide you through revisions and help you smooth weak spots; and as your most attentive first reader to give you a fresh perspective on how the story might be interpreted. My queries are designed to highlight anything that could disrupt your reader’s experience and to help you can make carefully crafted revisions. All changes remain totally within your own control.
Full Developmental Edit
(editorial report + scene outline)
An in-depth report (usually 20+ pages for a novel) outlining the strengths and weakness of the entire story. Includes a bird’s-eye-view detailed scene outline plus editorial notes on structure, plot, character arcs & characterization. The goal of this editing round is help you tighten the overall plot, deepen characterization and create a more satisfying and engaging story for your readers. Recommended for authors who are prepared to roll their sleeves up and do major rewrites (if the story needs it) and who want to work hard to create the best story possible.
This is the developmental edit ‘lite’ for stories that are well fleshed out but not quite working yet. Your report (approx 12 pages) is designed to illuminate any potential flaws and macro-level problems so that you don’t discover these during more intensive line editing, and to offer fresh perspective on how you might enhance the story’s existing elements (key character arcs and subplots, progressive complications, characterization, setting and other macro elements).
Substantive Line Edit
(tracked changes + detailed margin notes)
A line edit focusing on the content at scene level (plot events, character conflict, characterization, dialogue, foreshadowing, timing, pacing, narrative description, atmosphere, and tension). This edit includes detailed notes in the margins to help you engage the reader as much as possible, scene by scene, beat by beat.
(tracked changes + detailed margin notes)
A fine-tuned line edit for later drafts that have already been revised for plot, character and scene-level elements. This edit is focused on hunting down inconsistencies in the details (e.g. in character descriptions, back story, or setting) and on repairing any sentences that might snag readers or jar them out of the story world (e.g. awkward phrasing, unclear or double meanings, confusing grammar errors, and typos). This is not a proofread, which should be performed only after you’ve finished all your revisions.
Special Editing Packages
~ discounted rates when we work together on multiple rounds of your manuscript ~
Macro-to-Micro 2-Round Edit
(Manuscript Evaluation + Substantive Line Edit)
Comprehensive 3-Pass Edit
(Manuscript Evaluation + Substantive Edit + Line Edit)
Deep 2-Pass Line Edit
(Substantive Edit + Line Edit)
Deluxe 3-Pass Edit
(Developmental + Substantive Edit + Line Edit)
To reserve editing time for your novel, I take a retainer of 20% of our estimated fee for the full project. As I’m usually booked out 3-5 months in advance, please reserve early to ensure your manuscript gets a space. If you’d like to start editing soon, you can also request to go on a waiting list in case a space opens up at short notice, which can happen often in the publishing business.
If you have a fixed budget or are unsure what type of editing would be best, I’d be happy to help you tailor an editing plan for your manuscript. Since line-by-line editing is time-intensive work, I don’t offer “cheap ‘n’ fast” editing, but we can create a plan to make your manuscript the best it can be within your budget!
Proofreading is a careful review of the final draft to look for any stray typos and misused punctuation. As errors may be missed (or even introduced) during each round of revisions, and these can become invisible to anyone familiar with the text, it’s highly recommended your manuscript gets a fresh proofread or two before publishing, preferably by people who haven’t seen the text before.
Publishing a completely error-free novel would be something of a miracle, but hiring one or more fresh proofreaders gives your manuscript the best shot at being close to perfect. When it comes to proofreading, the more eyes, the better! Although I no longer offer this service, I’d be happy to recommend good proofreaders to help you polish your final draft.
I accept payment via PayPal, Bill-Pay (US banks only), international transfer, and credit cards (fee applies).