Editorial Services: Fiction

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If you feel your manuscript could use all three levels of editing and would like to work through shorter sections in more of a controlled-learning experience, check out my author coaching services.

Services listed in typical chronological order within the revision and editing processes.


Developmental Editing:

My editorial idol, Maxwell Perkins, was a masterful developmental editor. He was able to work with writers to turn their unruly drafts into works of long-lasting importance and acclaim. A developmental edit is concerned with the big picture, to make sure that the story works on all levels in order to connect with readers.

I can review a complete manuscript if it is available, or if you want feedback before completing an entire draft, I can review the first 50 pages along with a synopsis, character sketches, world building bible, and/or any other supplemental materials.

You will receive feedback on:

  • genre considerations
  • world building
  • plot and story structure
  • use of scenes
  • character
  • theme
  • overall tone of the work

When I provide a developmental edit, I’ll focus on the story in favor of style and grammar. Feedback includes an editorial letter that addresses the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the manuscript based on the criteria mentioned above and will include occasional line notes in order to draw your attention to sections that exemplify the issues discussed in the letter.

($0.0075 – $0.015 a word)

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Substantive / Line Editing:

You’ve worked with a developmental editor, trusted beta readers, and/or an experienced writing group, and you’ve locked down your plot, characters, and theme.

Now you’re ready to go through the manuscript to clean up the line-by-line stuff. While a copy edit will prepare your manuscript to go to layout, a line edit will force you to dig deep into your craft. This is the editorial stage that you can learn much from in order to become a stronger wordsmith, and if you approach it as a learning experience, your next project will demonstrate the results.

You will receive feedback on:

  • clarity of subject, logic, and consistency
  • imagery
  • point of view
  • characterization
  • dialogue

You will receive suggestions for rewriting:

  • to improve readability and emotional impact
  • to draw the reader more deeply into your story

While I won’t focus on big-picture story issues, I will let you know if I don’t believe things are working. I’ll recommend that you go back to your editor, or we can create a new contract and work together to fix those problems through a developmental edit.

($0.01 – $0.015 a word)

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You’ve already worked with an editor to make sure that the big-picture components of your story are working. You’ve gone through the manuscript to clean up issues on the page, paragraph, sentence, and phrase levels.

Now you’re almost ready to publish. Send me your near-final manuscript, and I will look for those nasty typos that like to avoid detection from eyes that have grown used to the words (here’s why). I will stay on the look out (whoops, that should be “lookout,” the noun form) for minor errors and inconsistencies.

You will receive a file with the following issues corrected or commented on:

  • typographical errors
  • punctuation errors
  • misspellings (or word-choice errors)
  • formatting inconsistencies

While I will focus on mechanical and technical issues, if I believe the manuscript still needs major work in either developmental or line editing, I’ll recommend that you go back to your editor and discuss that with them . . . or we can create a new contract and work together to fix those problems. I can provide a light critique or we can work together from the earlier stages of editing.

($0.0075 – $0.01 a word)

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