Fiction Editing

If you’re seeking a seasoned professional editor—experienced with various genres, who specializes in romance and speculative fiction—I might be just the person you’re looking for. 

I’ve been coaching and editing for 14 years, and I’ve been an independent editor for almost 4 years. I work primarily with indie authors; many of them are self-publishing for the first time. I edit both US and UK English, and I offer a flexible array of services to help you publish a book you’ll love, which will delight readers.

Services:

Coaching

Manuscript Evaluation

Developmental Edit (also called a structural edit)

Comprehensive Edit (substantive editing + copyediting)


What I Offer:

 

Specialized Expertise: Although I have experience with myriad genres, I specialize in romance and speculative fiction, including:

  • contemporary romance and erotica     

  • epic fantasy (swords, sorcery, dragons, and other awesomeness)

  • science fiction/science fiction romance

  • paranormal romance, urban fantasy & horror

   I also edit creative nonfiction, such as memoirs.

Supportive Coaching and Editing: Although we all need professional feedback to make our writing the best it can be and to grow as writers, we feel vulnerable when someone is deconstructing our work. I’ve been a writing coach for over 14 years, so I’m experienced in supporting and encouraging both seasoned and novice writers. I’ll help you celebrate your strengths while honing in on areas that need improvement.

 

Quick Turnaround on Most Projects: Are you facing a looming deadline? Is your newly self-published book receiving negative reviews because it’s riddled with errors? Are you a managing editor drowning in manuscripts? I’m rigorous about meeting deadlines, I offer quick turnaround on most comprehensive edits and copyedits, and I’ll stay within our agreed-upon budget.

Help With Your Blurb, Query, and/or Synopsis: If you’re an indie author, I can help you craft that dreaded blurb or edit your blurb for you. If you decide to seek an agent and publish traditionally, I can edit your query and synopsis.

Help Navigating the Self-Publishing Process: I can help you develop a plan to self-publish your book relatively inexpensively, avoiding the unnecessary expense of working with a self-publishing company, hybrid publisher, or vanity press. I offer guidance and answer questions at each step of the journey.

Help Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Book: Selling books is often the most challenging part of an author’s job. I can help you develop a step-by-step plan for marketing your book, starting several months before release.

Coaching 

When beginning work on a novel or memoir, many writers—especially first-time authors—find it helpful to share their projects with a professional editor/writing coach for feedback and direction. This can help you complete a strong first draft, using the kinds of professional feedback you’re likely to receive from an editor, agent, publisher, or reader. It’ll also help you focus on aspects of your work that readers are likely to love.

 

Basic Coaching Package [$225]


This Begins with Submitting:

  • 2500 words of your first draft (usually the first chapter). There’s no need to worry about perfect grammar, spelling, or punctuation. It’s a first draft! No one is judging you. 🙂

  • a synopsis (a brief summary [usually 1-2 pages] of the novel you plan to write).

  • an outline of the novel you plan to write. It’s fine if there are gaps in the outline or it’s unfinished. After all, you’re still in the process of creating your story.

  • any specific questions or concerns you have.

 

What You’ll Receive:

I’ll provide an editorial letter, offering suggestions to help you finish your project. It will look at elements of your work such as:

  • developing your story and plot

  • characterization

  • use of point of view in narration

  • word choice

  • style and tone

 

In some cases, you might receive a story map, expanding on your outline and analyzing how various elements of the work-in-progress, including story beats, character arcs, conflict, and plot, fit together.
 

You’re likely to receive comments in the manuscript, highlighting the recommendations in the letter.
 

The excerpt from your manuscript will not be edited.

 

Custom Coaching Package:


Are you in the midst of writing your first draft, but you can’t move forward? Have you finished the first draft and are struggling to begin your first revision? Or do you just need some structure and direction? We can create an individualized coaching plan to meet your needs.

Manuscript Evaluation [$0.012 per word]

 

The manuscript evaluation provides the kind of professional feedback you’re likely to receive from an editor, agent, publisher, or reader. It’ll also help you focus on aspects of your work that readers are likely to love.

It’s much like developmental editing. It usually takes place when the manuscript is finished. As with developmental editing, I analyze the manuscript and provide an editorial letter exploring “big picture” issues such as:

  • characterization

  • point of view

  • dialogue

  • conflict and plot

  • structure and organization

  • themes

  • descriptive writing

 

However, the feedback is likely to be broader and more general, and I don’t make edits or comments in the text of your manuscript. The process ends with the written critique. We don’t brainstorm solutions together or continue to discuss your project.

 

This typically costs much less than developmental editing, and further editing or coaching can be provided later if needed.

Developmental Edit (also called a structural edit) [starting at $0.03 per word]

Developmental editing usually begins when the manuscript is finished. I analyze the manuscript, highlighting some of the strengths of your work and offering direction for improvement. I look at “big picture” issues such as:

Characterization: Characters are the heart of a story. How is the development of these characters likely to work for readers? Are they rich, multifaceted characters who seem like real people?
 

Point of View: Compelling storytelling and strong characterization rely upon effective use of point of view. How well is your choice of first-person, third-person limited, or third-person omniscient point of view likely to work for your audience? If there are shifts in point of view, is it effective or is it likely to confuse or distract readers?
 

Dialogue: Excellent dialogue propels the plot, develops rich, believable characters, and brings the story to life. Is this working as well as you want it to?


Plotting, Conflict, Structure, and Pacing: Looking at the overall structure of the book, how do the pieces of the story fit together? How effectively do the crucial elements, including characterization, conflict, and plot, work together? How is the pacing likely to work for the reader?


Setting & World Building: This is particularly important in historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, but it’s a crucial element of all fiction. Is your setting conveyed vividly? Does your world seem real and believable?


Clarity: As writers, we’re often too close to our own work to see it through a reader’s eyes. How clear is it to readers? Is anything likely to be confusing or convey something other than your intended meaning? Is your writing working the way you want it to?


Voice and Style: As a writer, you have a distinctive style, and your work of fiction has a unique voice. How can we polish your work so your style and voice truly shine? This often involves strengthening word choice and fine tuning sentence structure so the writing is as professional and polished as possible and your style resonates with readers.


Themes: Themes give fiction much of its richness and meaning. How are your themes explored in the story?
 

What You’ll Receive:

  • I’ll provide an editorial letter, exploring the book’s strengths, highlighting problems, and exploring ways to make it stronger.

  • I’ll offer comments throughout the text, which highlight recommendations in the letter.

  • In some cases, you might receive a story map, outlining the novel and analyzing the story in terms of issues like story beats, character arcs, conflict, and plot.

  • In some cases, I also collaborate with the author to brainstorm solutions to problems with the manuscript.

 

Copyediting will still be needed after the developmental edit is finished.

Comprehensive Edit [starting at $0.02 per word] This includes:

  1.  a line edit (substantive edit) + copyediting

  2.  a final light copyedit after you've reviewed my recommended edits and made final revisions

  3.  editing your blurb

Before a comprehensive edit, to ensure that the plot, characterization, and other “big picture” elements of your novel have reached their full potential, I recommend at least one of the following:

  • developmental editing

  • a manuscript evaluation

  • alpha and/or beta reader feedback

  • thorough, thoughtful feedback from a writing workshop or critique partner

 

During the line edit, I analyze the manuscript at the sentence and paragraph level, highlight some of its strengths, and make edits, comments, and suggestions. Unlike developmental editing and manuscript evaluation, this does not involve reorganizing the manuscript, reshaping the plot, or extensively refining character development, worldbuilding, and other “big picture” issues. However, I might make occasional recommendations on how a particular sentence or paragraph could enrich these elements of your story.

A line edit typically includes recommendations and revisions in these areas:

  • improving sentence structure

  • strengthening the rhythm and flow of the writing

  • fine tuning the pacing of the story

  • clarity and consistency

  • clear and consistent use of point of view

  • effective use of dialogue

  • active vs. passive voice, if appropriate

  • precise and varied word choices

  • anything else that might distract readers from your story

 

After a comprehensive edit, copyediting focuses on technical issues:

  • grammar

  • spelling

  • punctuation

  • capitalization

  • sentence structure

  • word usage

  • consistency in presentation of numbers, hyphenation, and abbreviations

 
 
 
 

Fiction Editing

If you’re seeking a seasoned professional editor—experienced with various genres, who specializes in romance and speculative fiction—I might be just the person you’re looking for. 

I’ve been coaching and editing for fourteen years, and I’ve been an independent editor for more than four years. I work primarily with indie authors; many of them are self-publishing for the first time. I edit both US and UK English, and I offer a flexible array of services to help you publish a book you’ll love—which will delight readers.

 

Services and Rates:*

Coaching

Manuscript Evaluation

Developmental Edit (also called a structural edit)

Comprehensive Edit (line editing [also called substantive editing] + copyediting)

Line Editing

Copyediting

How to Save Money on Editing

*These rates are commensurate with or below EFA's guidelines.


What I Offer:

 

Specialized Expertise: Although I have experience with a myriad of genres, I specialize in romance and speculative fiction, including:

  • contemporary romance and erotica     

  • epic fantasy (swords, sorcery, dragons, and other awesomeness)

  • science fiction/science fiction romance

  • paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and horror

   I also edit creative nonfiction, such as memoirs.

Supportive Coaching and Editing: Although we all need professional feedback to make our writing the best it can be and to grow as writers, we feel vulnerable when someone is deconstructing our work. I’ve been a writing coach for over fourteen years, so I’m experienced in supporting and encouraging both seasoned and novice writers. I’ll help you celebrate your strengths while honing in on areas that need improvement.

 

Quick Turnaround on Most Projects: Are you facing a looming deadline? Is your newly self-published book receiving negative reviews because it’s riddled with errors? Are you a managing editor drowning in manuscripts? I’m rigorous about meeting deadlines, I offer quick turnaround on most comprehensive edits and copyedits, and I’ll stay within our agreed-upon budget.

Help With Your Blurb, Query, and/or Synopsis: If you’re an indie author, I can help you craft that dreaded blurb or edit your blurb for you. If you decide to seek an agent and publish traditionally, I can edit your query and synopsis.

Help Navigating the Self-Publishing Process: I can help you develop a plan to self-publish your book relatively inexpensively, avoiding the unnecessary expense of working with a self-publishing company, hybrid publisher, or vanity press. I offer guidance and answer questions at each step of the journey.

Help Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Book: Selling books is often the most challenging part of an author’s job. I can help you develop a step-by-step plan for marketing your book, starting several months before release.

Coaching 

When beginning work on a novel or memoir, many writers—especially first-time authors—find it helpful to share their projects with a professional editor/writing coach for feedback and direction. This can help you complete a strong first draft, using the kinds of professional feedback you’re likely to receive from an editor, agent, publisher, or reader. It’ll also help you focus on aspects of your work that readers are likely to love.

 

Basic Coaching Package [$225]


This begins with submitting:

  • 2500 words of your first draft (usually the first chapter). There’s no need to worry about perfect grammar, spelling, or punctuation. It’s a first draft! No one is judging you. 🙂

  • a synopsis (a brief summary [usually 1-2 pages] of the novel you plan to write).

  • an outline of the novel you plan to write. It’s fine if there are gaps in the outline or it’s unfinished. After all, you’re still in the process of creating your story.

  • any specific questions or concerns you have.

 

You’ll receive an editorial letter, offering suggestions to help you finish your project. It will look at elements of your work such as:

  • developing your story and plot

  • characterization

  • use of point of view in narration

  • word choice

  • style and tone

 

In some cases, you might receive a story map, expanding on your outline and analyzing how various elements of the work-in-progress, including story beats, character arcs, conflict, and plot, fit together.
 

You’re likely to receive comments in the manuscript, highlighting the recommendations in the letter.
 

The excerpt from your manuscript will not be edited.

 

Custom Coaching Package:


Are you in the midst of writing your first draft, but you can’t move forward? Have you finished the first draft and are struggling to begin your first revision? Or do you just need some structure and direction? We can create an individualized coaching plan to meet your needs.

Manuscript Evaluation [$0.012 per word]

 

The manuscript evaluation provides the kind of professional feedback you’re likely to receive from an editor, agent, publisher, or reader. It’ll also help you focus on aspects of your work that readers are likely to love.

It’s somewhat like developmental editing. It usually takes place when the manuscript is finished. As with developmental editing, I analyze the manuscript and provide an editorial letter exploring “big picture” issues such as:

  • characterization

  • point of view

  • dialogue

  • conflict and plot

  • structure and organization

  • themes

  • descriptive writing

 

However, the feedback is likely to be broader and more general, and I don’t make edits or comments in the text of your manuscript. The process ends with the written critique. We don’t brainstorm solutions together or continue to discuss your project.

 

This typically costs much less than developmental editing, and further editing or coaching can be provided later if needed.

Developmental Edit (also called a structural edit) [$0.025 per word or $50 per hour, whichever is less]:

Developmental editing usually begins when the manuscript is finished. I analyze the manuscript, highlighting some of the strengths of your work and offering direction for improvement. I look at “big picture” issues such as:

Characterization: Characters are the heart of a story. How is the development of these characters likely to work for readers? Are they rich, multifaceted characters who seem like real people?
 

Point of View: Compelling storytelling and strong characterization rely upon effective use of point of view. How well is your choice of first-person, third-person limited, or third-person omniscient point of view likely to work for your audience? If there are shifts in point of view, are they effective or are they likely to confuse or distract readers?
 

Dialogue: Excellent dialogue propels the plot, develops rich, believable characters, and brings the story to life. Is this working as well as you want it to?


Plotting, Conflict, Structure, and Pacing: Looking at the overall structure of the book, how do the pieces of the story fit together? How effectively do the crucial elements, including characterization, conflict, and plot, work together? How is the pacing likely to work for the reader?


Setting & World Building: This is particularly important in historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, but it’s a crucial element of all fiction. Is your setting conveyed vividly? Does your world seem real and believable?


Clarity: As writers, we’re often too close to our own work to see it through a reader’s eyes. How clear is it to readers? Is anything likely to be confusing or convey something other than your intended meaning? Is your writing working the way you want it to?


Voice and Style: As a writer, you have a distinctive style, and your work of fiction has a unique voice. How can we polish your work so your style and voice truly shine? This often involves strengthening word choice and fine-tuning sentence structure so the writing is as professional and polished as possible and your style resonates with readers.


Themes: Themes give fiction much of its richness and meaning. How are your themes explored in the story?
 

What You’ll Receive:

  • I’ll provide an editorial letter, discussing the book’s strengths, highlighting problems, and exploring ways to make it stronger.

  • I’ll offer comments, throughout the text, which highlight recommendations in the letter.

  • In some cases, you might receive a story map, outlining the novel and analyzing the story in terms of issues like story beats, character arcs, conflict, and plot.

  • In some cases, I also collaborate with the author to brainstorm solutions to problems with the manuscript.

 

Line editing and/or copyediting will still be needed after the developmental edit is finished.

Comprehensive Edit [$0.02 per word or $40 per hour, whichever is less] This includes:

  1.  Line Editing (Substantive Editing) + Copyediting: This is, by far, my most popular service, and it's much less expensive than contracting for line editing and copyediting separately. (Please see the explanations of line editing and copyediting below.) I always edit the manuscript twice, and I highlight some of the strengths of your work while recommending revisions and making corrections.

  2.  Help With the Dreaded Blurb: I'll provide editing and feedback on the blurb for your book cover and book descriptions on Goodreads, Amazon, and other platforms.

  3. A 50% Discount on a Final Light Copyedit: ($0.005 per word vs. $0.01 per word) Again, the comprehensive edit includes copyediting, so your manuscript will be polished and ready for formatting and publication. But a final light copyedit, after you've reviewed my suggested edits and made final changes, is recommended. As a general rule, I suggest enlisting the services of another copyeditor or proofreader for this final review of your work, because having several pairs of eyes on a manuscript is quite helpful. But some authors prefer to hire the same editor for both stages. If you choose to go that route, this discount will save you money.

  4. Up to One Hour of Consulting: We can chat, by email, phone, or Skype, so I can answer questions, make further suggestions, offer recommendations about publishing and marketing, etc. (After the first hour, a coaching fee will be charged.)

 

Line Edit (also called a substantive edit)

 

Before a line edit or comprehensive edit, to ensure that the plot, characterization, and other “big picture” elements of your novel have reached their full potential, I recommend at least one of the following:

  • developmental editing

  • a manuscript evaluation

  • alpha and/or beta reader feedback

  • thorough, thoughtful feedback from a writing workshop or critique partner

 

During the line edit, I analyze the manuscript at the sentence and paragraph level, highlight some of its strengths, and make edits, comments, and suggestions. Unlike developmental editing and manuscript evaluation, this does not involve reorganizing the manuscript, reshaping the plot, or extensively refining character development, worldbuilding, and other “big picture” issues. However, I might offer feedback on these aspects of your novel and occasional recommendations on how a particular sentence or paragraph could enrich these elements of your story.

A line edit typically includes recommendations and revisions in these areas:

  • sentence structure

  • the rhythm and flow of the writing

  • the plot and pacing of the story (including "plot holes")

  • clarity and consistency

  • clear and consistent use of point of view

  • effective use of dialogue

  • active vs. passive voice, if appropriate

  • precise and varied word choices (including "crutch w

  • anything else that might distract readers from your story

 

Basic Copyedit [$0.01 per word or $20 per hour, whichever is less]: Basic copyediting typically take place after a manuscript has already been copyedited or line edited, and it provides a final polish. It focuses on technical issues:

  • grammar

  • spelling

  • punctuation

  • capitalization

  • sentence structure

  • word usage

  • conformity to The Chicago Manual of Style (where appropriate) and consistency in style, including presentation of numbers, hyphenation, and abbreviations

How to Save Money on Editing

Hiring a trained professional editor is a worthwhile investment but, of course, it's a significant addition to your budget. To lighten the financial load, consider these options:

  • Careful Self-Editing: This will enable me to provide a more in-depth edit—my best work on your best work. And since fees are based on either an hourly rate or a per-word rate (whichever is less), sending me a more polished manuscript can save you money. Upon request, I'll provide a sample edit, before we commit to working together, and give you an estimate of how many hours I expect the project to take. (I request that you provide the full manuscript and allow me to select the sample(s) to edit.)

  • Alternate Payment Arrangements: Some of my clients have monthly payment plans. Ask me about an arrangement that will meet your needs.

  • Limited Time Offer: To receive a 10% discount on any editorial project, schedule your project, with a nonrefundable 50% deposit, by June 1, 2020.

 
 
 
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