While editing involves more direct intervention in your work than consultation or comments, I undertake it in the same collaborative spirit. Through editing, I do not serve as an authority, taskmaster, or gatekeeper, but rather help you fulfill your ambitions for a manuscript.
While developmental editing addresses structure and rhetoric, sentence-level editing focuses on clarity, concision, and style. I edit using “track changes” in Microsoft Word so that you can accept or reject each change individually if you’d like.
Developmental editing focuses on your writing’s structure, argumentation, organization, coherence, and persuasiveness.
Depending on what your manuscript needs, developmental editing can involve changes to overall structure, the order of paragraphs, or the organization of sentences or information within paragraphs. It can also involve edits to clarify your argument, adjust your tone, or make your piece more accessible. Through comments, I will flag substantive concerns about content or argument that I, as an editor, cannot resolve.
Developmental editing includes the sentence-level editing described below. It is often best to do this in two rounds: I edit developmentally; you review those changes and make further revisions; and finally I edit the revised draft on the sentence level.
For developmental editing, a manuscript should be complete but need not be polished or final. Indeed, developmental editing is only useful if you’re open to significant changes.
Sentence-level editing focuses on style, clarity, concision, consistency of voice, and correctness. I use the term “sentence-level editing” to emphasize that this kind of editing focuses on sentence construction rather than paragraph organization or structure.
My sentence-level editing is more intensive than a copyedit that aims to bring a manuscript into line with a press’s conventions. I edit for clarity and style, paying close attention to your voice as a writer and aiming to make changes that foreground rather than alter it.
If you have no concerns about the substance or argument of your piece, but would like the sentences thoroughly edited, this is the way to go. For sentence-level editing to be most useful, your manuscript should be complete and near final, with all the big decisions about argument, content, and structure already made.
Comment + Edit
This combination is a good option for writers who have a complete book manuscript draft and prefer written comments over consultation. I write comments on your draft, you revise, and then I edit the revised version on the sentence level.
Here are some examples of projects that involved editing: