Fiction Editor

Professional Fiction Editing Services

Are you a struggling writer looking for someone to help bring out the pizzazz of your story? Or maybe
you are an established writer looking for help in editing a manuscript prior to publishing. I help get the
real message across, eliminating wordiness and inconsistencies, and other errors that take away from
the writing’s effectiveness. And I do it all without changing the author’s unique voice.

Fiction Editing Process

Developmental Editing:

Developmental editing services help writers better conceive new stories through assistance from a professional editor. It is the role of the fiction editor to provide constructive feedback regarding the overall story conception and planned structure.

My services begin when the author sends me a synopsis (usually around four pages). I ask questions and make comments. The author addresses those questions and comments. Then we may have a phone call just to ensure we’re both in agreement; dare I say “on the same page”? There may or may not be a manuscript at this point. 

Every writer who comes to me has different needs. Some have a strong idea for the structure and characters.  If a first draft of a manuscript is available, I request a copy to begin the developmental editing process. I dive deep into the manuscript’s plot, structure, themes, setting, pacing, point of view (POV), characters and their GMC (goals, motivation, and conflict), and more. 

I also work with writers who need more help in structuring their story. For some, my development editing efforts are centered around discussions on better defining a character or plot. There have also been instances when a writer wanted a substantive edit on a first draft, but found more refinement or organization needed. 

My journey with the authors and their stories frequently creates lasting relationships, because we work through the many emotional and trying events that make a strong story. Most of my contracts continue to other stages of editing until the novel or fictional series is complete.   

I personally love the developmental phase in a writer’s process because there is so much potential yet to be discovered within the story. It’s like weeding a garden left to seed and finding plants full of ripe vegetables prime for picking ... and making it into an enjoyable dish.

Substantive Editing:

Substantive editing services help writers take their fiction to another level by taking a deeper dive into the structure of the story. A professional editor will provide constructive comments that tighten the plot, optimize the tone, and flesh out the characters and setting. 

My substantive editing services pick through the writer’s completed manuscript, looking for inconsistencies, errors, and structural issues. My comments are fashioned to help lead the writer to a better destination in designing the specifics of the story. For example, a writer may create a character who is a man of faithfulness and integrity. If that character is to cheat on his wife, there has to be a significant, believable cause; otherwise he is behaving out of character.  

I provide substantive editing services for many historical fiction writers, which requires a significant amount of fact checking. The goal of my editing services is to help the flow of the story proceed without causing a reader to get hung up on something that doesn’t fit, such as DNA testing in the 1800s, or cars with automatic transmissions in World War I. 

There are times when my substantive editing efforts include timelines or a style sheet to help establish the characters and plot. Some writers work better with visual queues to help maintain an organic flow.

Copy Editing

Copy editing services help writers tighten their prose by making necessary corrections to a manuscript to improve its readability and ensure it is free of errors. A professional editor helps to polish and finalize the manuscript, prepping it for publication. 

My editing focus is on punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling errors (PUGS).


Fiction Editing Summary

Editing is all about bringing clarity and precision to the work, streamlining stories that sag or polishing a story that’s dull. Sometimes it involves taking out stuff that doesn’t need to be there. In copy editing, it’s wordiness; in substantive editing, it may be a scene that serves no purpose and slows down the story. Maybe it includes finding a word that provides an improved picture so the movie camera in the reader’s mind can better visualize what’s going on. 

It’s keeping the green of the story garden, while getting rid of the weeds. That’s why I call it Wordscaping.

Ready to find out more?

Contact me today to learn how I can help!