Creative writing is a very personal experience, requiring a level of commitment beyond that of everyday writing. You write because something compels you - some journey to share or some wisdom to impart. Having someone else become a part of that process is extremely difficult. But it's also extremely important.
Whether you're going the indie author route, pursuing a traditional book deal, or submitting to a contest, magazine, or anthology, you need a polished manuscript. After spending weeks, months, or years writing, you're too close to your story. You know what you meant to get on the page, but you can't discern whether you've accomplished it; you can no longer see the words, the gaps. As an objective professional editor, I can “ReVision” your writing from a fresh perspective.
In an ideal world, authors would move through each of the editorial stages in the right order with different editors before sending their manuscript into the world, but in reality this is rarely feasible. The following packages are designed to combine a few of the different levels of editing (as outlined on the Editing Defined page) into one service to make the most impact on your manuscript. Before working with me, you’ll need a finished draft, and I’ll be the best-fit editor for you when your manuscript doesn’t require major structural or plot reworking. This will allow us to focus on how your story is being told, making sure that you’re telling the story you want to tell and that you’re doing it in the best possible way to make a connection with readers. I offer the following services for authors based on most popular requests, but I can also customize an option to fit your needs.
Recommended for authors who have all the story-level pieces in place but want to ensure the writing is polished. This is a thorough sentence-level edit that includes formatting to basic industry standards (or those of a specific agent or publisher) to get your novel ready for submission in addition to copyediting, stylistic editing, and any necessary rewriting. Copyediting fixes grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, typos, and other mechanics of style and also ensures consistency of style. Stylistic editing clarifies meaning, eliminates jargon and clichés, smooths language, and adjusts tone while maintaining voice. Rewriting is based on your content and is kept to a minimum. Includes one round of edits along with two rounds of follow-up (in the form of incorporating the author's responses to queries and spot-checking the author's tracked revisions) and a final read. The final read is a sweep as a unified whole to try to ensure all revisions have been inputted correctly and you have a clean file ready for submission. In general, unless another preference is requested, edits will reflect the most current version of The Chicago Manual of Style, which is the standard for book publishing.
This is my most popular service. It’s a more substantive line edit that combines all the elements of the Detailed Edit (see above) while also addressing elements of narrative technique, such as point of view, narrative distance, dialogue tags and beats, filtering, balancing show and tell, backstory, and info-dumping. If I spot other story-level issues that could be fixed at the paragraph or sentence level, they will also be addressed (for example, characterization, believability, goals, stakes, motivation, pacing, and tension). Comments will be specific and marked directly on the manuscript. Includes one round of edits along with three rounds of follow-up (in the form of incorporating the author's responses to queries and spot-checking the author's tracked revisions) and a final read. The final read is a sweep as a unified whole to try to ensure all revisions have been inputted correctly and you have a clean file ready for submission. In general, unless another preference is requested, edits will reflect the most current version of The Chicago Manual of Style, which is the standard for book publishing.
The beginning of your novel has a lot of work to do: hook the reader, introduce the protagonist, and move the story forward, to name a few. It’s also what interested agents, publishers, and contest judges will ask to see. Novel Beginnings is a substantive edit, stylistic edit, and copyedit of the first 2,500 words of your novel to help you craft a strong start to your story. Includes two rounds of follow-up and a final read. *Please include a detailed synopsis of the entire story when you submit these first pages.
Query Letter Editing - A query letter explains who you are and what your manuscript is about. If you're ready to send your manuscript out to agents or acquisitions editors, you'll need a great query letter to get that all-important request for sample pages. Includes tips and a template to help you write the query letter, in addition to one round of copyediting/stylistic editing, one round of follow up, and a final read.
Synopsis Editing - A synopsis is a summary of your manuscript. Many agents and acquisitions editors want to be sure your story is solid before they invest hours reading your complete manuscript. Includes one round of copyediting/stylistic editing, one round of follow up, and a final read.
Subsequent Edits - Additional rounds of editing are available at an hourly rate.
Sample Edit – I offer a free short sample edit of the manuscript you’re considering submitting for a Comprehensive Edit or Detailed Edit (one per client). This allows you to feel confident that you’re receiving the type and quality of edit you’re looking for while allowing me to assess your work for editing scope and turnaround time so I can give you an accurate quote.
Microsoft Word Editing Functions Tutorial - All editing work is done electronically using Microsoft Word's "track changes" and "comments balloons," which allow you to maintain full control over editorial changes. My services include a free tutorial on working with these features so you can handle your edited file with confidence.