An overview of the story’s macro elements before investing in more detailed editing.
1.6 ¢ per word
Detailed editorial notes on all key storytelling elements (from plot and character to scenes, conflict, setting, tension, dialogue and description.
3.5 ¢ per word
For outlines up to 5,000 words.
Developmental notes on your outline. Find plot holes before writing the novel.
Spot checks, follow-up consultation,
editing of chapters or sections of your novel.
$50 per hour
10% off any fresh round of edits on the same manuscript
Line-by-line editing to strengthen your writing voice and create a more vivid and compelling experience for your readers.
3 ¢ per word
For already edited, near-final draft manuscripts only.
Edits for grammar, syntax, consistency & punctuation.
2.4 ¢ per word
Editing services (from developmental to line editing) for interactive fiction and game-related texts. Contact me for a quote.
Special rates available.
Final check for typos, consistency of spelling and punctuation. For edited manuscripts only.
1.5 ¢ per word
What is a Manuscript Evaluation?
Developmental notes based on an initial readthrough. These notes will cover the strengths and weaknesses of macro issues. These can include story structure (choice of scenes and the order they appear in), plot and character arcs (how they intertwine and support each other), character motivations, and global storytelling elements such as best use of setting, pacing, tension, use of dialogue, and description. Identifying what’s working and what might not be working early on in the process gives you a chance to make major changes before you start more detailed rewrites or line editing.
What you get:
- A critique designed to illuminate how your macro storytelling elements are working together so that you can make clear choices before going ahead with your next round revisions.
- Post-editing consultation via email (up to 2 hours) to go over any questions and bounce new ideas around.
What is a Developmental Edit?
An in-depth editorial review that looks at how all the elements of your manuscript are working together and how you might revise to strengthen the manuscript as a whole.
Developmental editing (includes some substantive line editing) is all about STORY, not the prose or fine details. It focuses on the big picture elements like the structure (how the scenes build on each other, the order of revelations and events); the plot (what happens, why it happens, and how it all pays off emotionally at the end); the key conflict (what drives your story forward); the pacing (how much information is revealed and when); characterization (description, motives, backstory, internal conflicts, and their character arcs); worldbuilding (choice of setting detail to your world’s history and culture); and audience engagement (using techniques such as foreshadowing, atmosphere, tension, suspense, sympathy and empathy).
Early drafts that need help to pull them together into a cohesive whole but aren’t ready for subtle fine-tuning yet. Developmental editing is recommended for authors who are prepared to roll their sleeves up and do major rewrites (if the story needs it) to create the best story possible.
What you get
- An in-depth revisions letter (usually 12+ pages for a novel) outlining the strengths and weakness of the entire story.
- A scene map (a bird’s eye view outline) of your story — awesome for seeing which areas aren’t yet working and for tracking your ongoing revisions.
- Margin notes and highlights to help you identify the strengths and weaknesses and come up with ways to improve the story.
- Post-editing email consultation (up to 2 hours) to discuss any questions and your revision plan.
What’s not included:
- Intensive line editing with track changes: You may still make major changes, so your manuscript is not ready for tinkering yet.
- Ghostwriting: I don’t write or rewrite any parts of your manuscript. All rewriting decisions are fully under your control.
What is a Line Edit?
A substantive line edit focuses on storytelling techniques at the sentence level. This includes strengthening your writing voice and unique style, improving readability and clarity for the readers, enhancing visuals and other sensory details, trimming repetitions or redundant details, smoothing out any jarring shifts in tone or perspective, and clarifying awkward phrasing or dialogue. A light line edit is similar but for later drafts, with the focus on catching more subtle issues and smoothing the edges.
Generally, line editing is about looking for any little moment that might trip a reader up or alter their experience in a way you didn’t intend, and honing your writing craft one line at a time.
What you get
- Suggested edits made to any clunky or unclear sentences, all tracked for your review and final decision.
- Margin notes to identify strong lines or weak lines in the manuscript, along with options for how you might repair lines that aren’t working, and example fixes where possible.
- Some light copyediting to make technical repairs to grammar and spelling, though this is not yet the main focus as you are still rewriting entire lines and paragraphs.
Manuscripts that have already undergone developmental editing or that have been revised for macro storytelling elements (structure, plot, character, setting, overall pacing and emotional payoffs) and now need finer, detail work to help improve the reading experience.
What is a Copy Edit?
A copyedit is one of the last stages in your editing process. Now that you’ve honed your story to its best possible version and polished the prose for style, flow and clarity, it’s time to zoom in and repair the sentences at a more technical level. In this editing pass, we look for any inconsistencies in detail.
- checking for content inconsistencies (such as unintended changes to names, colors, years, or facts);
- continuity errors (timeline impossibilities, movement of objects, inexplicable shifts in character’s knowledge);
- technical repairs to grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style (capitalization, hyphenation and UK/US spelling etc.);
- checking and styling of notes, references and bibliography if non-fiction/academic.
I’m proficient editing to Chicago Manual of Style (17th), APA, MLA, and house style.
What you get
- Technical repairs at the sentence level, marked with tracked changes for your review and final decision.
- Queries and suggestions (in comments attached to the margins) to guide you in revisions and highlight possible inconsistencies.
- A manuscript copyedited to the professional standards of your preferred style manual.
What is not included
- This editing pass does not deal with more subjective matters like whether the story is being told in the best way possible via pacing, dialogue, description, etc. At this later stage, we’re now tidying up all the artifacts of that creative process.
- Fact-checking: The manuscript is checked for internal consistency and if non-fiction this often includes an online search to help make a decision, but this service does not include research or fact-checking. These are your responsibility as the author.
- Proofreading: This is a very careful copyedit that will bring your manuscript to a professional standard, but it is always recommended that you hire one or three proofreaders to check for stray typos before publishing. Any time you make changes, errors can be introduced, so this should not be considered a final pass.
Do I need proofreading?
Yes! Your proofread is your last chance to make sure your manuscript is as polished as possible for your readers. After you’ve put in all that work writing, editing, and revising, it’s definitely worth giving the final draft a last polishing pass (or two) to get it as close to perfect as possible.
I highly recommended having your manuscript checked by fresh proofreaders who haven’t seen the text before. Errors may be missed or even introduced during the intensive editing and revision stages, and these errors can become invisible to anyone familiar with the text (because of the way our brains “helpfully” fill in the blanks).
Publishing a completely error-free novel would be something of a miracle even with a publishing house team behind you, but roping in one or more fresh proofreaders gives your manuscript its best shot.
I do offer proofreading on a case-by-case basis, for both fiction and academic works. Please contact me to check availability.
Rates range between $4 (for manuscripts that are have already been professionally edited) up to $7 per page (for technical or academic works with footnotes, bibliographies and references).
How long is the waitlist for editing?
My editing queue is usually 3-5 months long, so reserve your editing time well in advance. You can also ask to go on my waitlist in case something opens up at the last minute. This happens often as authors can easily find they need more time than expected to work on their draft.
To book your editing, send me your preferred dates and the approximate total page count of your project. Your deposit/retainer to reserve the editing time is 25% of the estimated project fee, which will be taken off the final invoice when your edits are delivered.
You’ll also receive a simple editorial agreement outlining the scope of the project and protecting both parties. Once that’s signed, your editing is booked! Now you can go ahead and make any last changes to the manuscript before our start date.
What will my whole editing project cost?
Your project fee depends on what editing service or package you choose, and your word count.
If you’re not sure which level of editing would best suit you, just use the contact form to send me a sample of the writing (the first chapter or pages), plus any relevant info (like whether the manuscript has been professionally edited for structure and plot already), and any specific concerns with the writing or budget limitations. I’ll get back to you within the next few working days to give you my recommendation on which editing would suit your manuscript best and a quote.