A copy edit is a thorough check to ensure completeness, correctness, consistency, and accuracy, and to document all style decisions and manuscript conventions.
You might want this service if:
- Your manuscript includes everything it needs, is structured well, and all the writing is finished.
- Your manuscript has previously been reviewed or copy edited.
- Your manuscript is ready for a final polish.
I’ll do any or all of the following, as needed:
- Review organizational elements to ensure the reader can find, understand, and act on necessary information.
- Address gaps in arguments, narrative, plot, internal story logic.
- Address flow of ideas, logic, scenes, transitions, narrative arc.
- Correct all errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage.
- Flag any major issues that should probably still be considered.
- Address clarity, consistency, and language at the sentence level and word level.
- Address typographic, layout, and design elements.
- Ensure visual elements are well designed and easy to understand.
- Address repetition of ideas and motifs.
- Improve paragraph and sentence construction to more effectively convey meaning.
- Ensure conformation to the style guide of your choice (for example, in-house style, MLA, APA, or Chicago).
- Pay close attention to point of view, narrative voice, internal and external dialogue, and overall story structure.
- Check facts.
- Check references and citations.
- Style tracking
- Improve word choice to more effectively convey meaning, maintain authorial voice, and improve narrative flow.
- Reduce or eliminate jargon and other specialized terminology.
- Follow an existing style sheet and add to it as necessary.
- Create a style sheet, if none exists.
- Track details such as timeline and story arc, characters, their histories and relationships, and story settings.
- Address any questions or areas of concern from you, the author.
What you’ll get back:
- A marked-up copy of the revised file(s) showing all tracked changes and comments with detailed questions, suggestions, explanations, and examples.
- A clean copy of the revised file(s) with all changes accepted and only comments remaining. (It is useful to have the clean copy to compare to when reviewing changes.)
- A style sheet documenting editorial style and editorial decisions.
- For fiction and narrative non-fiction, separate style sheets for characters, timeline, world building, and settings, as appropriate.