If we work together, we will discuss your project and goals to decide what type of editing would be most useful to you. I’m here in a supporting role and can tailor my feedback to suit your needs. The following descriptions give a basic idea of the types of services I offer to the writers and publishers I work with.
Developmental editing is big-picture editing. As a developmental editor, I like to talk to an author first, discuss the work, and ask about the areas in which he or she could benefit most from feedback. I then read the manuscript to get a sense of how it works as a whole before going back and making comments in the margins. I point out when characters seem underdeveloped, when important material seems to be left out, when scenes go on for too long, when a plot arc or other element could be strengthened, when material could benefit from rearrangement, and so on. I also make line-by-line editing suggestions when they seem important. Finally, I write a thoughtful memo, five to ten single-spaced pages, in which I provide an overview of my feedback. Once the author has had a chance to review my notes and revise, I’m available to read the revised manuscript and provide an additional round of feedback. A reasonable amount of phone and email consultation is included—as it is in all services I provide.
In which I read your manuscript and write an editorial memo (what I think is working well, what is not yet developed, how you might strengthen the work overall) but skip the on-the-page edits. This can be especially useful for authors looking for feedback early on in the process, and is a less intensive process than a full developmental edit.
In which I make edits on the page rather than write up an overview of my thoughts in an editorial memo. This allows for specific feedback, not only in response to elements such as pacing, structure, and scene but also on the level of the writing—voice, style, syntax, clarity, and so on. It’s a good option for writers who feel their book is pretty much there in the broad outlines but could benefit from more hands-on editing.
This is a close read on a finished manuscript, mainly to catch errors, with an eye toward grammar, syntax, consistency, fact checking, and standardization of style. If a character’s name is Hannah on page 102, I make sure it isn’t Hanna on page 257. I’m allergic to dangling modifiers, and inconsistent verb tenses drive me crazy. I cite chapter and verse from Chicago Manual of Style and present you with a squeaky-clean manuscript with all edits made via track changes. I provide this service mainly to publishers, but I’ve done it for authors as well and would be happy to do it for you.
Once you have a fully edited project, you may want to discuss strategies for releasing it into the wild. If you’d like to talk about the publishing process—how to write a book proposal, how to compose a query letter, how to find an agent, the pros and cons of self-publishing, etc.—I’m available to discuss.
Query letter editing, etc.