Editing Services

The copyediting and content editing processes I follow can vary, depending on the project and the author’s requirements. However, most of my manuscript editing projects fall into one of several basic project categories. The following are some general descriptions of the projects I edit.

Letter Editing

Most of my letter-editing projects are cover letters or letters of complaint. I edit these letters for language, eliminating colloquialisms and needlessly informal terms. In the case of job-application cover letters, I correct wording and content, so the applicant presents him or herself in the best possible light. For cover letters accompanying written submissions, I ensure that the author’s publishing credits, relevant experience, and project description come across interestingly and clearly.

I have edited many letters of complaint, honing each author’s argument to present the most logical and effective complaint. Many of my clients have received financial remuneration from companies to whom they have sent complaint letters I have edited.

Short Story Editing

The short stories I edit are for both adult and juvenile markets. Some are part of short-story collections, while others are stand-alone submissions for magazines of various types.

I edit juvenile short stories for age-group appropriateness, making sure that the language and storylines work for the age group for whom they have been written. I often suggest plot or character modifications, detailing my editing suggestions in written reports.

I edit adult short stories for market appropriateness, making sure the language and themes fit the publications for which they are intended. I often make suggestions for improving characterization or plot and write editorial reports for each author.

Autobiography and Biography Editing

In editing both autobiographies and biographies, I focus on the “storyline” of each project. I look for strong character development in the subject of each biography or autobiography, making sure that each scene description or dialogue passage serves to clearly illustrate the life and personality of the subject.

I try to ensure that the stories of particular persons retain a sense of universality that will speak to all readers. In certain cases, I recommend cutting some scenes in order to more precisely render the subject and to create a clearer life story.

Scholarly Text Editing

The clarity of the argument and the accurateness of the language are both important parts of scholarly writing. When I edit scholarly documents, reports, and essays, I pay particular attention to the logical development of each author’s argument, often suggesting more precise terms or asking the author to clarify different points. I make extensive comments to each text and write long reports, explaining my corrections and comments.

Dissertation Editing

In much the same way that I edit scholarly texts, I review every dissertation I edit for the precision of its language and the logic of its argument. I read each dissertation through once, checking the cohesiveness of its overall argument. Then, I read it again to check the flow of its component arguments. I treat each chapter separately, honing its internal logic and its relationship to the dissertation as a whole. I proofread each dissertation’s footnotes and bibliography and make extensive comments in final reports.

Self-Help Book Editing

In editing self-help books, I look for coherence in each author’s main thesis. Many self-help authors incorporate vignettes into their texts, using the vignettes to illustrate the more theoretical points of their arguments. I edit these vignettes for clarity and suggest changes that will make them most relevant to the book as a whole. I ensure that each author uses the language most appropriate to the intended audience.

Novel Editing

I have edited novels of all types—mysteries, historical novels, women’s fiction, thrillers, science fiction, and experimental novels. I read each novel a first time, familiarizing myself with its overall story arc. Then, I reread the novel, paying attention to dialogue and the interaction between characters. On both readings, I look for both plot consistency and character development. Most of my suggestions involve modifications that will sharpen and refine the plot action and alterations to dialogue and character interactions. I explain these suggestions in editorial reports to each author.

Romance Novel Editing

Because there are so many different romance novel categories, I tailor my editing to the plot and character requirements of each romance novel category, making sure each author follows the category guidelines. In each romance novel I edit, I look for believable romantic conflict between the hero and heroine and strong character development. I often suggest alternate plot lines or situations that will strengthen the conflict and render more three-dimensional characters. Each time, I write a long report for the author.

Picture Book Editing

I have read and edited hundreds of picture book manuscripts. Each time, I read for strong plot development, characterization, language, and age appropriateness. I make suggestions for revision and send each author an extensive editorial report.