Editing Level Descriptions

Depending on your needs, I offer the following levels of editing, each designed to polish your writing and make it outstanding! Whether it’s a book or corporate materials, I am a firm believer in good writing.

I’ll copyedit and/or proofread just about anything: fiction (I especially love children’s books and YA), nonfiction, resumes, press releases… you name it, I’ll probably edit it. However, developmental editing requires more knowledge and preference to specific genres; in my case, children’s, YA (young adult), inspirational, and chick-lit are among my preferred genres to developmentally edit.

Don’t forget a FREE editing consultation: If you would like a free editing consultation, please feel free to send me a 2-4 page (500-1,000 word) sample of your work and we can go from there, determining your needs, and customizing rates that work for your project. If your document is very short, other arrangements will be made.

Level 1: Proofreading (Light)

This service is for writing which is already polished, but needs another keen eye to look it over. I will track changes I’ve made, as well as insert comments and suggestions for you to consider. After all, spell-check only knows that the words “there,” “their,” and “they’re” are indeed words — not when they’re each most appropriate.

What I will do in a light proofread/copyedit:
In a light edit, I am responsible for correcting faults in the following areas:

1. Spelling
2. Grammar
3. Capitalization
4. Punctuation
5. Numbered lists
6. Table of contents
7. Table and figure numbers

What I won’t do in a light proofread/copyedit:
I will not question content or style problems. It is not my place to be a critic. If I believe a manuscript is weak in certain areas, or I find major inconsistencies or errors, I will mention it but won’t go overboard in the hopes that someone higher on the publishing scale would notice such inconsistencies.

Level 2: Copyediting or Line Editing (Medium)

This is for writing that may require more revisions than standard proofreading/copyediting. I will track changes I’ve made, as well as insert comments and suggestions for you to consider.

What I will do in a medium copyedit:
My responsibilities include everything listed above under proofreading/light copyediting as well as ensuring correctness and consistency of the following:

1. Numbers: (For example: Is it 7:00 a.m. or 7 AM or seven o’clock in the morning?)
2. Abbreviations
3. Gender neutrality
4. Content and style (as follows):

  • Audience: The manuscript needs to clearly serve its audience.
  • Logic and clarity
  • Word usage and choice
  • Format: Check for consistency, including titles, headers and subheaders.

Level 3: Substantive/Content Editing (Heavy)

What I will do in a heavy edit:
Substantive editing looks to make sure that the document is clearly written and well-organized. In addition to everything that is required in a light and medium copy-edit, I will delve into some heavy-duty editing, and may make more suggestions for rewriting (though I will not provide much rewriting myself– more on that below). I often catch some of these inconsistencies in a medium copyedit, but unless asked to perform a substantive edit I may not focus on these:

1. Redundancies & inconsistencies
2. Wordiness and/or triteness
3. Vague generalizations
4. Weak sentence style
5. Organizational weakness & structure
6. Lack of focus
7. Clarity
8. Tone
9. Flow
10. Word choice
11. Tense
12. Grammar, Usage, Spelling, and Punctuation

Substantive editing involves a lot of labor-intensive work. I will not be involved with much of the actual rewriting, but I will make suggestions. A cardinal rule of this level of editing requires that rewriting must come from the original source.

Level 4: Developmental/Structural Editing (Very heavy)

What I will do in a developmental or structural edit:
Developmental editing has less to do with grammar and more to do with overall structure and development of the plot or point of the manuscript.This can take place at the start of the writing process, with a developmental editor working alongside the writer to help plan the fleshing out of the manuscript; it can also take place after the first draft revisions of a manuscript, involves an overall thorough read-through of the document, and subsequent evaluation. This often involves:

1. Suggestions for rewriting
2. Clarifications
3. Improving flow by reordering or moving material around
4. Removing redundancies and inconsistencies
5. Checking to correct POV (point of view)
6. Suggestions for instances of “Show, don’t tell.”
7. Development of plot, characters, and setting
8. Dialogue work
9. Blending back story
10. Effective hooks and lead-ins
11. Checking for omissions
12. General fact-checking

When inquiring about any of the above services please include details such as word count and page count. Please contact me to let me know how I may assist with your editing needs.