Professional Editing for Your Book
You've written a novel. Congratulations! Getting a full story down on the page takes intense effort. I applaud you! A clever idea crept into your mind, you transformed it into a productive plot, with characters you've come to know better than your own family relations. Now what?
Now it's time to catch your readers—snag them with a brilliant plot, hook them with an irresistible protagonist, and transfix them with your words and imagery—and make sure they don't put your book down until they're finished reading it. Now it's time to make your novel gleam.
Manuscript Evaluation / Developmental Editing
This type of editing is also called Substantive Editing and Content Editing. It occurs on an early draft of your novel. If you're curious whether you've got your story fundamentals in the right places, whether the book works as written, Developmental Editing will give you answers.
After the massive creative effort it took to get your story down on the page, it is helpful to have a knowledgeable editor review the entire manuscript to make sure you have written a story that satisfies readers. I make comments directly in the manuscript and point out examples of what's working and what can be improved and how.
I also provide a comprehensive editorial letter that contains an analysis of the book's overall structure, including plot and character, stakes and point of view. The letter notes my observations on the other major components of fiction, such as dialogue, scene development, tension, internalization, imagery, and setting, and advises on how you can rework chapters, scenes, or pages to empower the writing.
The editorial letter contains a step-by-step revision plan. If you are interested in developing your writing craft, I can include extra explanations of writing techniques and strategies, too. Like your own personal writing workshop! This is a deep dig into your novel, an approach that shows you exactly where you need to focus your revisions to elevate the writing to the next level or even higher. There are three options:
Partial Manuscript Evaluation: The First 40 pages
A lot can be learned from the first 40 pages of a manuscript. A novel's strengths and weaknesses and a writer's idiosyncrasies all traipse onstage early. Often, a revision plan to empower the story can be extracted from an excerpt of the book. In the manuscript, I comment on what's working and suggest improvements, highlighting relevant examples. A brief editorial letter lays out suggested revisions that you can apply to the full manuscript. This is an economical way to benefit from a developmental edit. Send about 10,000 words of your manuscript, and let's see how it's going.
40-Page Evaluation: $195
Full Manuscript Evaluation
A full manuscript evaluation provides an in-depth analysis of your entire manuscript—and I mean, this is comprehensive—and a detailed revision plan that enables you to fully develop your novel's structure and story fundamentals. You get comments and suggestions in the manuscript and a thorough, multipage editorial letter that addresses what's working and what needs extra attention, plus tips and techniques on how to revise to best effect. I also include supplementary reference material if you'd like to learn more about certain editorial suggestions and further improve your craft. If you are prepared to revise your novel in many passes through the manuscript, a full manuscript evaluation will point the way ahead.
Full Evaluation: Starting at 2.6 cents per word
Light Manuscript Evaluation
A light manuscript evaluation provides an analysis of your novel and details a revision plan that focuses on the top three issues holding your story back. Are you telling where you should be showing? Is your dialogue inane? Are your scenes muddy? Is your protagonist too distant? Is backstory clogging the real story? Is your story world believable? Revision is hard and complicated and time-consuming and confusing. If you have the capacity to fix the top three largest concerns, you can take your novel up a notch.
Light Evaluation: Starting at 1.6 cents per word
Line Editing is also called Stylistic Editing. It occurs on a late, nearly final draft of your manuscript. (After Developmental Editing.) Choose Line Editing when you feel you are close to being finished drafting your book but expect still to revise for style at the sentence and paragraph levels.
Line Editing smooths and invigorates the text, transforming it from rough draft material into evocative prose. In Line Editing, I edit each paragraph and sentence to clarify meaning and strengthen the flow, logic, coherence, specificity, and style of how you've told this story. I attend to word choice and usage, tighten sentences to build intensity and accent the tone and mood, calibrate pacing and rhythm, and shape the words to connect best with readers.
With precise and discerning revisions, I help you craft gorgeous chapters, paragraphs, and sentences that captivate readers. This is a major stylistic manuscript cleanup and polish that also includes all the tasks of Copyediting (see below).
Choose Line Editing if you want your story-telling style sharpened and the rhythm and resonance of your words improved—and you don't mind significant markup and rewrites at the sentence level. All edits are tracked using Word's Track Changes feature so that you can review each, accept or reject it, and respond to the revisions with your own ideas.
Rate: Starting at 3.7 cents per word
On the very last draft of the manuscript—when every scene and sentence is exactly where you want it and you plan no further revisions—Copyediting makes your prose gleam. I comb the text to catch last-minute slip-ups and errors, editing for grammar, mechanics, spelling, and (publishing) style, so your text is specific and vivid, clear and consistent. I focus on "omitting needless words" and fixing dangling modifiers and detangling muddled modifiers, among other minor rearranging at the sentence level, to tighten the writing so that the story shines.
Choose Copyediting when you are finished revising the manuscript and want the assurance that a professional copyeditor has thoroughly reviewed the text to be sure it is correct and clean and ready for the next step toward publication: page layout.
Rate: Starting at 1.5 cents per word
"Christina's editorial recommendations were easy to follow and her comments directly helpful.
I plan on working with her often in the future."
—T. Mari, author