If you have an incomplete, unpolished first draft in your hands and would like a second pair of eyes to look over what you’ve done so far to provide honest, constructive feedback, then this is for you!
As an alpha reader, I will read the rawest form of your story once and provide my honest opinion – including both emotional reactions and feedback on content choices – on the direction your story is taking. I will give my opinion on the following topics:
- Is this story marketable?
- Is there potential for greatness in this unpolished state?
- Is your plot strong or weak, or lacking in some areas?
- Are your characters too trope-based, or stereotypical?
- How does your writing read?
No editing is provided in this reading service, once I have finished reading your manuscript I will give my initial feedback in the form of a Microsoft Word document.
If you have just completed your first draft, congratulations! If you would like some more in depth feedback beyond an initial alpha read, then this is the service for you. As a beta reader I will read your manuscript once with content in mind;
- Story structure
I will compile my thoughts and opinions into a Microsoft Word document to form a report of where your manuscript is lacking, where improvements could be made and where your strengths lie. As with my alpha reading service, I will also provide my honest emotional reactions to the events of your manuscript in the form of the ‘Comments’ function in Microsoft Word. Note that this does not include any editing, this service is only a read through to solely provide my opinion and feedback.
What comes after the initial read-throughs is the developmental editing stage. This is a comprehensive, large-scale, structural edit. Here I will examine the essential elements of your manuscript, primarily your use of language and how you have expressed your content on a large-scale (hence, structural). This includes detailed feedback and critique on the following:
- Story structure
- Writing Style
The developmental editing stage typically comes after your alpha or beta reader has provided you with big picture feedback. Remember that developmental editing is purely foundational and structural, and this service does not include corrections to grammar, spelling and punctuation (this is included in my line editing and proofreading services). Developmental editing will be provided using the ‘Track Changes’ and ‘Comments’ function in Microsoft Word.
Now, not every manuscript needs a developmental edit, especially if after you’ve made according and comprehensive changes to your manuscript after receiving competent alpha and beta reader feedback – but it is dependent entirely upon you! If you are unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Line/ Copy Editing
Once the wrinkles in your story structure and plot have been ironed out, line editing is the next step. Some editors will call this ‘copy editing’, but in my service, line editing involves a line-by-line examination of your use of language. This service is an intensive structural edit, focusing on your language use, authorial choices, and expression of ideas, including the following:
- Sentence flow (Are your sentences awkward, clunky, too long?)
- Tone (Are you conveying the correct tone according to the emotion you are trying to portray?)
- Writing style
- Redundancies (Do I repeat the same idea over and over again? Do I use the same word too often?)
- Idea expression (Is what you’re trying to say coming across to the reader?)
These elements of language form the building blocks that make up your narrative. I will also provide feedback where needed, on your vocabulary, style and suggestions for further development in your writing craft.
Line editing will be performed using the ‘Track Changes’ feature in Microsoft Word, and also the ‘Comment’ function where necessary.
This is the final check of your language, including grammar, punctuation, spelling errors, repeated/missing words, stylistic inconsistencies and other language errors. Content is no longer the focus here, as that should have been tackled in initial read-throughs and developmental edits – here your language use should already be at a semi-polished stage and ready for a ‘final pass’ before publishing.
This editing will be performed through the ‘Track Changes’ function in Microsoft Word.
‘The Works’ Package
‘The Works’ is a bundle deal that combines my beta reading, developmental and line editing services for a discounted price. In this deal you will receive feedback from an initial beta read, two rounds of intensive developmental edits and one round of line editing. This service will be a rigorous edit of your manuscript and will ensure a much more polished version of your story by the end of the process.
You will receive a detailed feedback from an initial beta read, and I will send the manuscript back with my critiques and suggestions for improvement.
Then, you will send the revised manuscript back to me where I will provide you with two rounds of comprehensive developmental edits. In the first round we will focus on strengthening the structure and foundation of your story – this will be an involved process with open communication lines and deep discussions. You’ll make revisions to your manuscript and then send it back to me for the second round where I will point out any inconsistencies and plot holes for you to smooth out.
Finally, the third round once you have made the final developmental edits will be a thorough line edit where I will improve your expression, flow, articulation and overall prose.
This package, though an intensive process of back and forth revisions and drafting, is comprehensive and thorough. I strongly believe that sticking to one editor that grows your manuscript from a diamond in the rough to a polished gem is lot less strain on the author. You will save time, energy and money in choosing ‘The Works’ Editing Package.
Editing a Series
If you require my editing services on a book in your series that is not the first in that series, which I have not had any involvement in, this will require me to review the first book in order to familiarize myself with it. This review will include looking at the plot, the characters, subplots, the tone, language, description, ideas, theme, i.e. the world you have created, and so forth. This will be in order to provide you with the best advice and service for the following book.
Should you require my service for a book in a series I have previously had no involvement on, please contact me to discuss the arrangement further.
I endeavor always to make you, the author, feel as comfortable throughout the scary process of handing your work over to someone else – and be as clear and understanding as I can on your journey to publication!