Editing

 

My editing services are broken down into 2 main categories:

♦ Manuscript Evaluations

♦ Book Editing

 

Manuscript Evaluations are divided into three sub-categories:

~ Structure Evaluation: addresses strengths and weaknesses on a structural level

~ Story Evaluation: addresses strengths and weaknesses on a whole story level

  • Manuscript evaluations focus on major storytelling concepts like plot, characters, voice, and writing style. Due to the broad scope of a manuscript evaluation, suggestions by me are general and pose questions for the author in regard to their intentions with the book.
  • I follow the fundamental storytelling principles of three-act structure.
  • I provide the author with a template to plug in major and minor turning points of their book, and I use that as a reference when I read the story for myself.
  • Manuscript evaluations are good for writers who have an outline, incomplete, or complete drafts.
  • I provide the writer with an editorial letter explaining my findings.

~ Beta Reading: a read-and-comment process that evaluates the story from a reader’s point of view

Beta reading is when the writer sends off their manuscript to someone (or someones) to read and provide feedback—but not edit. You can find people to do this for free, but the drawback there is you aren’t guaranteed a quality, thorough job.

Beta readers are mostly used to comment on major storytelling concepts such as plot arc or pacing or character development. But depending on the deal writers strike up with beta readers, it’s possible that beta readers might take note on world-building inconsistencies or head-hopping or even flag typos.

In other words, you can get a lot of helpful information and guidance from a beta reader who knows how to critique a story.

A good beta reader can help a writer increase the quality of the manuscript before major funds are spent on developmental or content editing. Hiring a beta reader before an editor enables you to fix critical problems in your manuscript before you write another flawed draft.

I offer beta reading services as a way to help writers see what works and doesn’t work about their stories and to give them guidance toward improving their manuscript. Some things I do is summarize their story in my own words to clarify structure; what I’d like to see more or less of; notate any predictions I have along the way; whether the voice of the narrator matches the genre and expectations I have for the story. I also invite the writer to direct me to areas of the story that they want specific feedback on (for instance, if they are worried their antagonist is too hateful or if the story problem/solution is plausible).

Book Editing is divided into 4 separate sub-categories

Developmental editing: Focuses on storytelling concepts to make sure they all work together for a compelling and well-executed read from chapter to chapter (engaging characters, sound plot, unique voice, etc.) as well as the quality of writing. Notes and suggestions are made to guide author in revision strategies.

Developmental editing is for incomplete or complete drafts.

This is a great option for writers who feel “stuck” in their story and are unsure of why they’re stuck or how to move forward.

Content editing: focuses on modifying or adjusting major storytelling concepts to ensure the book’s content is relevant, accurate, well-organized, necessary, and plausible. Potential issues I look for include head-hopping, world-building, three-dimensional characters, useful secondary characters, foreshadowing, romance or mystery outcomes, and plot holes.

Content editing is suggested for authors who have completed (what they believe is) their final draft, have received mixed reviews by early readers, and need a professional, objective viewpoint.

Comments are made within the manuscript as a guide for the author, and maybe some light edits are made, particularly if issues need to be specifically pointed out. I provide more feedback and suggestions through an editorial letter, keeping within the author’s vision for the story.

Line & Copy Editing:

Over the years of working as a professional editor, I began to start combining line and copy editing. Not all editors follow this method. I do only because I find that they work hand in hand. I cannot edit paragraphs and sentences without also considering words and punctuation. Therefore, this service is two-fold.

Line editing: I address syntax, word choice, awkward phrasing, word and phrase overuse, variation of sentence construction, resolving ambiguities, story beats, “showing vs. telling,” dialogue, 5 senses, description/details, eliminating clichés, and more.

While I include an editorial letter summarizing my findings, the majority of my suggestions are through markups made directly within the manuscript.

If I find a recommended change could alter the author’s vision for the story, I will not change it, but will mention the pros and cons of leaving it be in the editorial letter.

Copy editing: addresses minor storytelling concepts such as detail and description consistency (flagging a child’s sudden hair color change, for example.), timeline and setting consistency, grammar, word usage, punctuation, fact-checking minor details such as business names and historic dates, formatting and proper paragraph breaks, etc.

I put together a style sheet and use it to track these kinds of details. I share the style sheet with the author to ensure consistency with any changes made in the manuscript.

Proofreading: Checks for grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and formatting mistakes, but does not attempt to improve the content.

For rates and submission guidelines, go here.