I am a writer, reader, and editor of science fiction and fantasy (and sub-genres thereof) and can assist authors from the very first draft and up to (but not including) copy editing. I hold a BA (Hons) in English Literature and have been assisting authors with their manuscripts since June 2014 (prior to which I worked as an intern for an overseas (American) independent publisher for one year).
Requesting a sample does not obligate you to hire me. In fact, I believe it is in your interest to sample a selection of editors. It is so, so important to find the right editor for your manuscript. In addition to assessing editing skills and technical knowledge, you should feel comfortable engaging with your editor. You should have a clear understanding of what your chosen editing package will entail, the monies due and the date of expected return. Most of all, you should feel in control of your manuscript’s development at all times.
I offer a five-page sample, but like to see the first chapter (two if they are short). Providing a sample for a developmental edit is problematic in that most of the ‘magic’ and ‘discovery’ occurs during the second reading, with the full story in mind. Reading one or two chapters enables me to get a ‘feel’ for the opening scenes and theme of your book, from which I am able to offer an example of how I use Word’s Tracked changes and comment system to make observations, suggestions and ask questions.
Further information: Assessing a Freelance Editor (blog post)
The developmental editing service I provide includes three reads (two edits), through which, I will examine the following elements:
My first read is always straight through with only minimal notes. This allows me to experience the overall story and to get a feel for your plot, characters, and writing style.
During the second read, I will dissect your story, but I will also offer advice that I believe will strenthen the story. I chart the plot (in Ywriter), scrutinise characterisation, and also examine the following elements.
- Dialogue versus narration
- Point of view
- Showing versus telling
- Orientation and engagement with the story
The final read/edit is performed after the manuscript has been returned to the author for any amendments to be made. I also welcome questions, for which I do not charge an additional fee. I would prefer an author to ask questions than sit and stew over something I can help with.
Line editing focuses on tightening the presentation of your writing including:
- Removing repetitive and redundant words such as: just, all, had, was, that etc
- Correcting confusing sentences and paragraphs
- Examining word choice
- Correcting confusing pov and tense switches
While I do an element of line editing as part of the development edit, I do not do the line editing per se. Instead, I would highly recommend the following editors:
Copy editing will check your manuscript for language, grammar, and spelling. It is assumed your manuscript has been through both a developmental and line edit as there is minimal interference with the written word at this stage.
I do not copy edit myself, but for manuscripts I have worked on, I have negotiated special rates with three copy editors I trust:
I am of the opinion that if I have been involved in the latter stages of editing, that an alternate set of eyes should proofread the manuscript.
Raymond Clarke is a published independent author and one of a handful of proofreaders I would trust with my own manuscript. He will examine your manuscript for grammar, spelling, punctuation, word order and similar problems. His testimonials can be found here.
If you have a story in mind, but no time to write it, or would prefer not to, then ghostwriting may be the appropiate option. I do not engage in ghostwriting myself, but can recommend:
For cover design, I would recommend:
Formatting for print and e-book
If you require assistance with formatting for print or e-book then I would recommend Raymond Clarke.