The Editing Process



Editing is a collaborative process: I need to see your work to determine if I can help you; you need to see what suggestions I would make to your work. Are we compatible?

Have you ever had a friend or family member show you his work with great pride, and you look at it in dismay? It happens. A lot. Why? When we put a tremendous amount of energy into a project, we can become infatuated with it. We see what we want to see. But the opposite can be true, as well. A writer may face what I call analysis paralysis, certain that what they’ve written is trash, but it’s a masterpiece. For this reason, even if you are thinking that you need one level of service, after reading a sample chapter, I may suggest that you choose another level. 

After reviewing your sample, I will return it to you with my suggestions. There is no charge for this, and there is no obligation to use my services. I strongly believe that working together will give you the best chance of success in this difficult industry.

Levels of Service

Developmental (Macro) Edit

I critically examine the manuscript for a variety of elements, including but not limited to:

  • Style & Voice
  • Plot
  • Pacing
  • Character Development
  • Point of View
  • Details & Accuracy
  • Conflict
  • Show vs. Tell
  • Passive Voice

This is an intensive evaluation and usually takes two to three weeks to complete. Comments and suggestions are made in the document (Word’s Track Changes), and I include a multi-page report with my findings.

The standard charge is $0.03 (3 cents) per word.

Line (Micro) Edit

This form of editing is a close look at the words and syntax of your manuscript. I find and suggest changes to problem areas such as:

  • Passive Voice
  • Overuse of Adverbs
  • Dialogue Tags
  • Incorrect Words (See page on homophones and eggcorns)
  • Spelling, Punctuation, Tense, and other Grammar Issues

This process takes one to two weeks, and all suggestions are made in Word’s Track Changes, so you can accept or decline them. We all have our individual voices, and the last thing I want to do is to inadvertently change yours.

The cost of this service is $0.02 (2 cents) per word.


This is the last editing phase before submitting your work to an agent, a small publisher, or self-publishing. In this edit, I read the words and sentences for spelling and punctuation…forward and backward. Yes, I read the manuscript backward, too. This prevents me from becoming enamored with the story and missing my editing duties. Note that I do NOT consider the technical aspects of the writing in this type of edit.

The standard cost for this is $0.01 (1 cent) per word.