Content Editing & Manuscript Evaluation

Storylines sometimes fall apart. Characters say things that they shouldn’t—or wouldn’t. Timelines go off the rails.

Your editor will read your story carefully and highlight areas where the content of the novel needs attention. Is the primary relationship convincing? Is the ending twisty yet satisfyingly inevitable? Do your events flow realistically from one to the next?

If not, I’m here to help. You will leave with a full report on how your book scores on the Ten Elements of Excellent Fiction.

Line Editing

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your sentence flow?

Line editing is about more than catching spelling errors and missing punctuation; it addresses the nuts and bolts of your entire manuscript. A thorough line edit will address everything from the macro elements of line editing—chapter and paragraph structure—to the micro elements of sentence structure and format.

Overall, is the order logical and smooth? Do the sentences read well? Is the punctuation standard and the spelling correct? When line editing is complete, you will have answers to all these questions, and the manuscript should start to shine.

Proofreading

When an editor is elbows-deep in your manuscript, helping you shift around plot lines and polish your characters’ dialogue, things can get messy. Line edits that involve heavy restructuring may also result in misplaced commas and extra spaces left over from the skirmish with Track Changes.

Proofreading is the final stage is most often carried out by a secondary editor—someone who has not previously seen your manuscript. As the final whistle stop before the book pulls into the station, proofreading should provide a fresh, unbiased look at your work.

When the book is finished going through proofreading, it will be in excellent shape. Not perfect, as no manuscript is ever error-free, but as Harriet Braiker once said: “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralising.” 

Book Coaching

Sometimes you get halfway through a manuscript and just don’t know where to go. You have several chapters, possibly an outline, but you’re stuck on the plot and full of doubts. Instead of succumbing to the dreaded writers’ block, consider hiring a book coach to help guide you through the process.

Novels—particularly genre novels like romance and mystery—are often steeped in tradition and tropes.

New writers are sometimes subconsciously familiar with these but can’t quite put a finger on what’s missing from their own work. A good editor will be familiar with readers’ expectations in terms of structure and outcome, and also proficient with helping an author find his or her own unique voice. Together, we’ll be able to get you unstuck and on your way to a polished book that will stand out even in well-established genres.

Cross-Sample Edit

One roadblock often cited by authors in their decision to hire an editor is cost. Writers just starting out may not have the money to do everything that’s needed—from a full content review to a final line edit and proofread. The second roadblock is readiness. Sometimes authors aren’t confident that this is THE final draft. They’re not yet ready to take the plunge on a full edit.

That’s why I offer the cross-sample edit.

Having been around the block several times in this industry, I can offer you an excellent assessment with shorter samples of your work. Send me the first fifty pages, and I’ll send them back with feedback on the Top Ten Elements of Excellent Fiction. I’ll also line-edit of the first ten pages to help you identify your personal strengths as a writer, and areas in which your work could use improvement.

Use my critique to apply to your entire novel and hire me when you’re ready to have the entire thing looked at. It’ll be an easier job for me, and a more cost-effective method for you.