Quite simply, my goal is to help things flow as tightly as possible, while maintaining your distinct authorial voice and intent. What I offer first and foremost is an in-depth understanding of how to craft an engaging story populated with compelling characters. While in grad school, I researched the instinctual foundations of storytelling, so I know what readers subconsciously seek from the reading process, and this tends to correspond with what publishers are also looking for. I’m well versed in grammar and punctuation rules—I know The Chicago Manual of Style by heart—but I also think it’s important to allow breathing room for idiosyncrasies. In addition to the edited manuscript, all of my services include an accompanying editorial letter, in which I outline where you’re on track and where there’s room for improvement.
The last step before publishing is proofreading. The goal is to ensure that your manuscript is ready for publication by improving the consistency and clarity of the language. This entails examining the text carefully to locate and correct typos, missing words, and mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. After your novel has been proofread, you’ll have a clean manuscript, free of errors and ready to find its readership.
If your story is structurally sound and your characters are fairly well developed, but your manuscript requires some attention to inconsistencies, confusing passages, and the basic mechanics of writing, then copyediting is what you’re looking for. This service focuses on providing feedback on anything that might trip the reader up with the plot and characterization, and on cleaning up issues with the grammar, syntax, and narrative.
In addition to providing feedback on the grammar and writing style, this service includes heavy input on the plot, character development, structure, theme, atmosphere, and overall cohesion. The main ingredient of all good storytelling is conflict, and that’s the driving force behind my developmental edits. When characters are forced to overcome unexpected obstacles, both external and internal, and when outcomes remain uncertain, that’s when readers lose themselves completely in the story.