Copy Editing

Proofreaders marks on a first draft copy.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:

  • Completeness
    • 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.
  • Correctness
    • Correct all errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage.
    • Flag any major issues that should probably still be considered.
  • Consistency
    • 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.
  • Accuracy
    • 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.