Developmental Editing

  • Plot and subplots
  • Characters
  • Dialogue
  • Point of view
  • Pacing and narrative shape
  • Setting and time period
  • Timeline and chronology
  • Narrative techniques

Not everyone can afford a full-blown developmental edit. Consider instead a manuscript evaluation. I will provide an 8-15 page assessment letter with suggestions for improving your novel at the story level. Rates begin at $500 for up to 50,000 words.

Content and Line Editing

  • Phrasing
  • Word choice
  • Transitions
  • Wordiness and redundancy
  • Syntax
  • Gaps in logic
  • Clarity
  • Factual inconsistencies

Editing for content and sentence structure is a deep edit to make your writing more concise and your story or narrative more compelling. It includes two editing passes with markup and explanations in the manuscript, followed by up to two rounds of manuscript exchanges.

Copy editing or Editorial Proofreading

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Use of italics and bold type
  • Hyphenation
  • Abbreviations
  • Consistency
  • Compilation of style sheet

Copy editing is a much lighter touch than line editing. It primarily addresses punctuation, grammar, spelling, and consistency. This level includes two editing passes and one manuscript exchange for final cleanup.


Proof-Editing (typically referred to as “proofreading”) is the final touch to your finished manuscript prior to formatting and design. Includes two rounds of editing to search for typos, inconsistencies, and layout issues, and one manuscript exchange for final cleanup.



A fresh look of your print-on-demand before publication includes a final read-through to check for:

  • Typographical errors
  • Type font consistency
  • Word spacing
  • Line spacing
  • Leading
  • Kerning
Levels of Editing - What type of editing do you need?

If you are just starting your publishing journey, it’s important to know that there are different levels of writing and editing.

If you have never worked with a critique group or had beta readers, the first step is getting a big-picture feedback, addressing issues with plot, characters, point of view, pacing, and timeliness, in addition to narrative techniques such as show versus tell, dialogue, voice and tone, imagery, and style. This stage is known as a manuscript evaluation and a developmental edit.

At the next level, the editor revises sentence structure and syntax to be clearer and more concise. She ferrets out redundancy, repetition, and clichés and points out anachronisms. If your intent is not clear or statements are inconsistent, the editor will pose queries along the way. This process is known as content and line editing, and it sometimes evolves into ghostwriting, especially for nonfiction. It’s not unusual for a line editor to reduce the size of a manuscript by 15 percent or more, simply by dissecting and reconstructing with a scalpel, taking care to maintain the author’s voice. Depending on the editor, line editing might include copy editing.

Next is copy editing, which can range from light to medium. In a light copy edit, the editor will check the manuscript for correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. A word that is used incorrectly will be flagged but not corrected, as will confusing syntax. Inconsistencies will simply be noted. In a heavier copy edit, the editor will include suggestions for syntax revisions and point out or question gaps in logic or sentences that don’t flow well.

The most basic editing service (a light copy edit for correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as described above) is often called proofreading, though that’s something of a misnomer. Proofreading more accurately refers to checking page layout not only for what might have been missed in the editing process but also layout issues, such as words that are too tight or too loose on a line, too many hyphens in a paragraph, transposed words or letters, widows and orphans, etc.

Your manuscript may not need every level of editing. Contact me to discuss your best options.