“Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum / what might be right for you might not be right for some” — “It Takes Diff’rent Strokes” (theme song to Diff’rent Strokes), by Alan Thicke, Gloria Loring, and Al Burton
TYPES OF EDITING
Not every author is looking for the same type of editing. You may be looking for heavy developmental feedback on content, plot, and structure; or you may want nothing more than basic corrections to spelling and grammar. I can meet a range of needs.
Not sure what you need? That’s fine! The list below isn’t really a menu of products so much as it is a guide to the types of things that you might want to get out of an edit. The more you and I can get aligned up front on what you’re looking for, the better I can do that for you. So if you’re new to this, or just aren’t sure what your manuscript needs, feel free to contact me with vague intentions! I’m happy to discuss and to help you figure out what would work best for you.
This is what most independent authors are interested in. The objective of a line edit is to make your writing as polished and professional (and “invisible”) as possible. This involves not merely correcting errors, but also improving flow, clarity, and pacing: making your words “drop away” so your story shines through. A line edit includes:
– correcting errors: spelling, grammar, punctuation, dropped words, incorrectly used words
– rewriting/revising passages that come across as awkward or ambiguous
– pruning wordy or difficult passages
– identifying and eliminating repetitive word choices (and “crutch” words)
– ensuring consistent style choices throughout the manuscript
– locally restructuring sections to improve narrative flow
– flagging continuity errors and significant plot holes
Rate: 2.5-3.5 cents per word
Developmental Edit (Content Edit)
The objective of a developmental edit is to improve your story—not your writing. I will read your manuscript and provide written feedback on plot, characterization, pacing, etc., and make suggestions on things like character arcs, narrative framework, and maintaining reader engagement. For example, I may suggest that you eliminate a distracting subplot, merge two minor characters, reorder the way the story is told, or add or subtract specific scenes.
The needs of a dev edit are very specific to an author and manuscript (and those needs vary greatly), so it’s especially important that we get aligned on objectives before starting work. Once we’ve discussed the current state of your manuscript and the type of developmental feedback (or collaboration) you’re looking for, I can give you an estimate of cost.
For a copyedit, I will make corrections only where your manuscript contains an objectively unquestionable “mistake.” This includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, dropped words, and incorrectly used words. I will not make edits to improve your flow, pacing, clarity, structure, consistency, continuity, or content. (If your words are awkwardly written but grammatically correct, I’ll leave them alone.)
Ideally, your manuscript will have already received a line edit (whether by me or someone else) prior to a copyedit.
Rate: 1.0-1.5 cents per word
After I understand your needs and have reviewed a sample of your manuscript, I’ll be able to give you a precise estimate for your particular project. You’ll then of course have no obligation to work with me (and if I decide the work isn’t a fit for my skill set or schedule, I may be unable to take the job).