There are many levels of editing as well as ways to edit. Some of these are light, medium, and heavy copyediting. Editing for structure, the big picture, and the overall arc of a piece is also known as developmental editing.
Each manuscript has its own unique considerations that can only be determined by reading an excerpt of your work. The work almost always dictates the type of editing required. Sometimes considerations beyond what the work calls for are in play. I can customize any edit to the writer’s desire. Some writers don’t want their words questioned and only want grammatical errors fixed. Others want me to edit their work without follow up. While I prefer a more “middle road” edit, I know budget and/or time are significant considerations.
Editing is a relationship. I want to work with you to determine what is best for both the manuscript and you.
Checking for and fixing egregious errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. This most often occurs when there’s a tight deadline or limited funds.
Everything included in a light edit, plus questions about and comments on problematic words, sentences, paragraphs, or ideas, which also includes suggestions for these highlighted concerns. With the Track Changes feature on MS Word, you have final approval of all changes.
Everything included in a light and medium edit, plus you give me permission to correct and rewrite the areas highlighted in a medium edit.
Tier 1 includes a manuscript review and general feedback. This focuses on overall structural issues, tone, and flow. If the work is fiction, plot and characterization are also considered. These observations come in written form, with comments on what works and what doesn’t, as well as suggestions for next steps. This level of edit does not include line editing, margin comments, or any reworking of your text.
Tier 2 includes everything in a Tier 1 edit, plus margin comments throughout the manuscript, pointing out issues as well as highlights, and asking specific questions about the text. This level of observation is a deeper dive, and requires more time.
Tier 3 includes everything in Tiers 1 and 2, plus a full line edit. This is a comprehensive critique of your work (not to be confused with a criticism). This entails line by line observations, within the scope of the overall project.
Editing on the Fly
Of course, editing a completed piece is preferable for both the writer and the editor. It offers the ability to critique a work in its entirety. However, another service I provide is editing-as-you-go. I’d be your critique group of one.
I’d comment on as well as line edit individual chapters or sections of your work as you write them. With this service, you can see if you’re headed in the direction you intend while you write instead of having to wait until the end. Also, feedback on-the-fly helps you think about what you will write with respect to what you’ve already written. Hiring me to edit as you write also encourages momentum and maintains it. I’ve seen way too many people spin their wheels working on what they think the beginning of their manuscript will be. There’s no doubt the beginnings of our stories are important, but, almost always, what we think our beginning will be never is. The most important thing is to keep writing until you finish your first draft. Hiring me to edit for you on-the-fly can help you towards that end.
With enough forewarning and time, I could keep pace with you as you write. I’d offer what amounts to a third level of Developmental Editing as you go. You could send me sections or chapters, whatever works best for you.