Structural editing: Also known as developmental or substantive editing, structural editing is a look at the big picture. I will consider age of target audience, genre, structure, plot, pacing, character development, point of view, voice, setting, themes, and general issues of language to help you best achieve your goals for the project and to engage your audience.
Line editing: I will look closely at the paragraphs and sentences, and make vocabulary, wording, and grammar suggestions to polish them so that they convey your story with clarity, fluidity, emotional impact, and thematic meaning as aligned with your goals, including age of target audience. For author-illustrators and publishers of picture books, this can be a good stage to look at how words and illustrations work together.
Copyediting: Comma rules and more! This one’s an edit for grammar, punctuation, and word usage (those tricky things that spellcheckers tend to miss). I use The Chicago Manual of Style. I do not do fact checking, though I can mark statements that I think should be checked. Copyediting should be completed before the manuscript is handed over to a designer.
Proofreading: This is the very last look at a manuscript or proof to make sure there are no typos, missed punctuation, missed words, or design errors. Proofreading occurs when you have already had the work professionally copyedited and have a manuscript or proof that is as clean as you can make it. I bring my knowledge of both language and design/typography to spot errors in both those areas.
Here’s what I’ll ask you to provide:
If we decide to work together, I will ask you to provide me with a file or hard copy of your project in standard manuscript style: double-spaced, 12 pt. Times font, 1.25-inch margins, paragraphs delineated with half-inch indents (and not extra lines), page numbers and identifying information on every page, word count on the first page, printed single-sided. This format makes it easy for me to read your work and focus on the editing, and provides space for me to make notes.
Here’s what I’ll provide:
For structural editing: I will review your manuscript and then we will have a conversation (probably by phone). I may or may not provide a written report, depending on your needs and budget.
For line editing: I will provide suggestions using the Track Changes and Comments features in Word. (Other options include comments in an Adobe Acrobat file and written notes on a hard copy.) I will also provide a document with general comments. We may have a conversation (probably by phone) about those comments and the direction of your work.
For copyediting: I will provide suggestions using the Track Changes and Comments features in Word. (Other options include comments in an Adobe Acrobat file and written notes on a hard copy.)
For proofreading: Usually, I provide a list of errors or potential errors in a Word document.
These are general guidelines. We will make a plan to effectively move your project forward from where it is now.
If you would like to discuss a project, please contact me using this form (messages go right to my email inbox) or call me at 510-556-4014.