Services

 

        • Manuscript Assessment

     • Developmental Editing

     • Line Editing

     • Copyediting

     • Proofreading

Manuscript Assessment

($550 for manuscripts up to 50,000 words;

$750 for manuscripts between 51,000 words and 100,000;

$875 for manuscripts between 101,000 words and 150,000 words;

$995 for manuscripts longer than 150,000 words)

 

Purpose

To evaluate larger issues of character, plot, “voice,” pacing, setting, worldbuilding, rise and fall of action, resolution of internal and external conflict, and general storytelling techniques. In essence, a Manuscript Assessment provides a blueprint for addressing the fundamental elements underlying a story’s dramatic structure as well as its emotional and literary impact.

 

What You Get

  • A detailed evaluation, delivered as a Word doc (5,000 to 15,000 words in length, or 10 to 30 single-spaced pages).

  • The evaluation provides in-depth commentary regarding strengths and weaknesses relating to the larger issues mentioned above (see “Purpose”).

  • The commentary homes in on key examples from the book to explain what is — and is not — working in regard to the larger issues. The strengths and weaknesses of each example are explained, and prompts are provided for ways to rework the text while remaining true to character, plot, and voice.

 

Most Appropriate For...

First-time or beginning authors seeking overall guidance for their work in order to understand whether their manuscript is “on track.” A Manuscript Assessment is also appropriate for any author seeking in-depth, high-level commentary of their book before moving onto the more focused review of a Developmental Edit.

 

Bottom Line

Frequently described as an author’s best friend, a Manuscript Assessment is often the most practical, affordable option for authors seeking a detailed critique of their manuscript.

Developmental Editing

($2750 for the first 50,000 words;

$400 for every additional 10,000 words)

Please Note: Developmental Editing is available for authors who have published two or more books that have received generally favorable reviews or authors who have had formal training in writing (such as an M.F.A. writing program or advanced writing workshops). Other authors are kindly invited to submit 75 - 100 pages of their manuscript to determine whether a Manuscript Assessment is appropriate before proceeding to a Developmental Edit.

Purpose

To provide a scene-by-scene evaluation of larger issues of plot, character, worldbuilding, voice, and writing technique. A Developmental Edit dives into the mechanics of each scene, providing commentary regarding how larger issues play out on a scene-by-scene basis as characters develop, plot unfolds, and conflict is introduced and resolved.

 

What You Get

  • A detailed evaluation, delivered as a Word doc (5,00 to 15,000 words in length, or 10 to 30 single-spaced pages). The evaluation analyzes larger elements of character, plot, voice, pacing, worldbuilding, and writing technique. (See “Manuscript Assessment,” above.)

  • Extensive in-line, scene-by-scene comments regarding individual plot points, specific transformative moments in character arc, and discrete moments where plot is  developed or character motivation is revealed (or is notably lacking). Comments also encompass individual details related to scenebuilding and worldbuilding, and specific instances where pacing, “voice,” or storytelling technique falters.

  • Explanations of the strengths and weaknesses of each example are cited, along with prompts to encourage reworking of individual scenes, strengthening pivotal moments of action, fortifying character development at critical junctures, defining and revealing worlds (or settings) through individual actions of characters living and acting in those worlds, and aligning writing techniques to the specifics of voice, pace, and purpose of the particular scenes in which they occur.

  • Importantly, errors of omission are also noted, such as missed opportunities to raise the stakes (“up the ante”) for a protagonist, and subplots or characters that are underdeveloped but that, if enhanced, could fortify dramatic structure, heighten tension, or strengthen character.

 

Most Appropriate For...

Authors who have already had a Manuscript Evaluation (or other structured critique) and who have revised their manuscript accordingly. Also appropriate for experienced authors.

 

Bottom Line

A Developmental Edit can ensure that the underlying elements of your book — plot, character, pacing, setting, worldbuilding, and voice — grab the reader from Page One and tighten their grip — scene by scene — right through the final page of the novel.

Line Editing

($1875 for the first 50,000 words;

$325 for every additional 10,000 words)

 

Purpose

To provide final commentary regarding the smaller details of individual scene construction, logic, and continuity in moving characters within a given scene and from scene to scene. Importantly, a Line Edit also addresses issues related to the use of language as a means of telling the story.

 

Before Proceeding, a Word About Line Editing…

Traditionally, Line Editing has focused on the use of language to tell a story; that is, a line edit typically addresses issues related to writing and storytelling mechanics.

 

The Line Editing services offered here provide suggestions to sharpen dialogue, tighten sentences and paragraphs, hone transitions, fortify pacing, eliminate repetitive sentence structure and “tics” (such as an over-reliance on adverbs), rework passive voice, restructure run-on sentences, eliminate ambiguous sentence construction, wordiness, and redundancy, and tweak momentary changes in voice, tone, or point of view.

 

In practical terms, many authors desire an edit that also focuses on the small details that go into building specific scenes or specific character descriptions, and the mechanics of moving a character from one scene to the next (in a word, continuity).

 

Thus the Line Editing services offered here focus not only on the language issues mentioned above but also on the individual details of scene-construction, character depiction, and continuity. (For further information, see “What You Get,” below.)

 

What You Get

  • Extensive in-line comments regarding discrepancies related to timeline, feasibility of plot twists, inconsistencies in a character’s actions from one scene to the next, inconsistencies and ambiguities regarding the physical layout of a scene (such as where a character is standing in relation to another character), incompatibilities regarding scene and setting (such as sunlight shining directly on characters’ faces as they walk through a thickly shaded forest), and general awkwardness in character and scene descriptions or in moving a character from scene to scene.

  • Extensive in-line comments (and in-line edits) throughout the manuscript regarding elements of writing technique, including comments related to sentence structure, use of passive voice, use of run-on sentences, over-reliance on adverbs or specific “crutch” words, overly dramatic dialogue tags (“he hissed,” “she panted”), ambiguous sentence construction, wordiness, redundancy, imprecision in language, inclusion of expository dialogue (“Hi, my name is John Smith, I live in a two-family house with two dogs, three pigs, and a hamster in Springfield, Massachusetts”) and momentary changes in voice, tone, or point of view.

  • Importantly, a Line Edit also identifies omissions related to scenebuilding, such as the omission of a small but evocative detail that could enrich a specific setting (such as the smell of seaweed after a storm at a seaside resort), or the omission of character development at a key moment in the plot, which, if included, could motivate the reader into cheering on the protagonist…or rooting against the villain.

  • Comments identifying issues related to the defining elements of genre novels. Such comments might identify anachronisms in historical novels (including anachronistic language, technologies, and fashions and mannerisms); use of inconsistent logic in the “big reveal” scene of murder mysteries; instances in which the Lord’s name is taken in vain in Christian fiction or ”clean” fiction; and inconsistencies in the rules governing science fiction worlds, “alternate” histories, and alternate life-forms (e.g., jinns, shifters, vampires, aliens, zombies, and angels and demons).

 

Most Appropriate For...

Authors whose manuscripts have gone through a Developmental Edit. Also appropriate for experienced authors whose manuscripts are on track for successful submission to literary agents or self-publication.

 

Bottom Line

By focusing on the subtleties of writing techniques and important granular details, a Line Edit can make the difference between a good review and a great review.

Copyediting

($1425 for first 50,000 words;

$275 for every additional 10,000 words)

 

Purpose

To ensure proper grammar and punctuation, proper word usage, consistent style, and correct spelling, capitalization, and hyphenation. Copyediting also ensures that the spellings of all proper nouns—such as character names and place names—remain consistent from Page One to The End. Additionally, copyediting eliminates wordiness (including redundant wording) and streamlines the text, where necessary. Finally, copyediting notes issues with continuity and inconsistencies in descriptions and logic (for example, ensuring that Rochelle isn’t left-handed at the start of the book and right-handed at the end, and that if a full moon occurs on the night Gwendolyn first meets Sir Bradford, two weeks later—when Sir Bradford passionately embraces Gwendolyn in the deepest bowels of his family’s countryside estate—the moon is new).

 

What You Get

A fully copyedited version of the manuscript. All edits are incorporated into the manuscript using Word’s “Track Changes” feature. The author is thus able to scroll through the manuscript and Accept or Reject changes one by one. A Style Sheet is also provided (as a Word doc), listing individual styles incorporated in the book (“Chapter One” vs. “Chapter 1”; use of series comma). The Style Sheet also lists individual spelling of specific words (“gray” vs. “grey”; “forwards” vs. “forward”; “decision-making” vs. “decisionmaking”; “the Upper Mississippi River Valley” vs. “the upper Mississippi River valley”). This list can help ensure consistent style is incorporated during the revision and proofreading stages.

 

Most Appropriate For...

Manuscripts to which the author has made all final revisions regarding content.

 

Bottom Line

A copyedited manuscript signals to literary agents, publishers, and your readers that a professional editor has reviewed your book, thereby distinguishing the dedicated writer from the hobbyist.

Proofreading

($775 for first 50,000 words;

$175 for every additional 10,000 words)

 

Purpose

To provide a close, word-for-word review of the entire manuscript, correcting basic grammatical errors, typographic errors, and errors of spelling, punctuation, style, and consistency.

 

What You Get

A fully proofread manuscript, with corrections indicated via Word’s “Track Changes” feature.

 

Most Appropriate For...

Manuscripts that are ready for a final set of eyes before being submitted to literary agents or publishers or being published online.

 

Bottom Line

Proofreading prevents common errors from creeping into your book, thus allowing your readers to become fully invested in your characters without being distracted by mistakes that can easily be fixed.