Congratulations! You have the beginnings of a book. Many authors moan about the editing phase, but this is the time when you mold your work into a form you can be proud to share. Michael Crichton is credited with saying, "Books aren't written—they're rewritten." Take his words to heart. Great writers don't stop at the first draft.
First, do you have a completed manuscript? If your first draft isn't complete, then continue to write until you reach THE END no matter how awful you think it is. As Nora Roberts once said, "You can't edit a blank page."
If you have completed your first draft, I recommend that you find a few critique partners to help you get through the first revision.
Every writer and every story starts at a different level of readiness. A manuscript evaluation is an inexpensive first step to discover what needs to be done. Let me provide a detailed assessment of your manuscript. I'll make recommendations based on your needs, and point out what requires the most attention.
Yes. But let me explain. Every novel needs to pass through a substantive edit. This process involves checking all elements of fiction. Entire scenes and chapters may need to be rearranged, rewritten, or eliminated. This step is critical to the future success of your novel. By necessity, substantive editing includes line editing. I recommend making two passes.
If your critique partners have lots of expertise, then you may have garnered most of the benefits of a substantive edit. If there's any doubt about the end result, don't just hope for the best. Devote the necessary funds to this process.
If you haven't been blessed with exceptional critique partners and money is tight, then I accept a limited number of clients for mentoring. In effect, you will be paying me to be your critique partner. You'll be able to accomplish more on your own as your skills grow.
During a line edit, I will turn on Track Changes in Microsoft Word and make changes to your document, rewording as necessary to smooth out the prose. A line edit should be followed by a copy edit. A copy edit is primarily focused on correcting errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. These "PUGS" don't address readability and flow.
Yes. This step separates the serious professionals from the amateurs. Don't try to do it yourself either. As a fellow author, I understand how tempting this is, but believe me, you cannot see the errors in your work at this stage.
Many beginning writers feel lost when it comes to self-editing. I’m here to help. Feel free to send me your questions and make use of the Resources page.
Get a detailed assessment of your needs and a recommended plan of action. For most authors, this is a great entry point. The evaluation is usually about five pages long. No edits are made directly to your document.
If your manuscript is complete (or nearly so), get a deep analysis of the elements of fiction such as:
Line editing improves readability and rhythm to make your manuscript sparkle. This service is separate from a copy edit. I check for:
Copyediting is the step between final draft and typesetting. This is the last pass to fix the following errors:
This step occurs after pages are typeset, before printing or e-book distribution. It involves checking the page proofs for problems that have crept in during typesetting. This isn't the time for fixing grammatical errors.
Important Note: I will not edit material that contains erotica. I reserve the right to refuse business for any reason whatsoever and without explanation.