Editing Services

I offer services for manuscripts at all stages. You will find them listed here from earliest stage to latest.

Manuscript Critique

Do you need help with an early draft you just can’t seem to wrangle? Is there something off in your story that you can’t put your finger on? Whether you plan to go the traditional or indie route, a manuscript critique can help. You will receive a detailed editorial letter outlining the big-picture strengths and potential weaknesses of your manuscript. In this letter, I will offer personalized notes and suggestions on a variety of topics, including plot, character development and arcs, and world-building, as well my recommended steps for revision. Please note that a manuscript critique does NOT include an annotated copy of your manuscript.

Developmental Editing

If you like the sound of a manuscript critique, but you want a little more feedback and guidance, a developmental edit is the way to go. You’ll still receive the manuscript critique’s editorial letter with my notes about and recommendations for solving big-picture issues, but you will also get an annotated copy of your manuscript. Within the manuscript, I will mark areas that illustrate the points I make in the editorial letter, offer specific advice for revising those areas, note any smaller-scale issues I think need to be addressed, and comment on the parts that had me laughing, crying, or otherwise loving your story.

Line Editing

If you’re confident in and comfortable with your content, but you’d appreciate help developing your voice or smoothing your prose, line editing is for you. Line editing is more about the art of writing than the science of it. It does not simply deal with objective errors but rather helps you hone your craft. For a line edit, I will make corrections or suggestions within your manuscript dealing with paragraph structure, sentence flow, word choice, readability, consistency, voice, style, and more. You will receive an annotated copy of your manuscript, a style sheet, and an editorial letter outlining your manuscript’s sentence-level strengths and areas for improvement.

Copyediting

Your story is solid, but your manuscript still has spelling, grammar, punctuation, or other technical errors—you need copyediting. For a copyedit, I will correct technical errors in your manuscript and ensure style consistency (I use the Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary; if your needs differ from this, please let me know.). You will receive an annotated copy of your manuscript, a style sheet, and an editorial letter outlining the changes I’ve made to your manuscript and tips for avoiding common errors in the future. Please note that your manuscript will still need to be proofread after I’ve completed my copyedit.

Proofreading

Even if you’ve already had your manuscript copyedited, you need it proofread. All manuscripts—yes, even the edited ones—have typos or formatting errors. Proofreading introduces a fresh set of eyes to your manuscript and ensures those straggling errors are caught before publication. With a proofread, you will receive an annotated copy of your manuscript. Please note that I will only proofread manuscripts that have been copyedited by a professional editor.

Query Critique

If you plan to traditionally publish your manuscript, you’re going to have to query literary agents (or the occasional acquisitions editor for a publisher that accepts unagented submissions). Querying takes a lot of work, and that starts with crafting and polishing your query letter. A query critique includes feedback on your original query letter and feedback after you’ve revised. You will receive an editorial letter detailing this feedback each time, as well as general query-help resources I think you’ll find useful. You can choose a query critique that does or does not include annotated copies of your original and revised queries.

Synopsis Critique

In addition to a query letter, many agents will ask for a synopsis describing the manuscript’s central conflict, main characters, their goals and motivations, and more—including the ending/resolution. The synopsis is difficult to get right. (After all, how do you boil your 100,000-word YA fantasy down to just a few pages?) Getting it right, however, is crucial. Without a well-crafted synopsis, you’re unlikely to get the full manuscript requests that can lead to representation. A synopsis critique includes feedback on your original synopsis and feedback after you’ve revised. You will receive an editorial letter detailing this feedback each time. You can choose a synopsis critique that does or does not include an annotated copy of your original synopsis. Please note that synopses longer than 1,000 words will incur an additional charge.

First Fifty Critique

It is also common for agents to request the first (up to) fifty pages of your manuscript. Because of this, those first fifty pages need to shine—they need to hook the reader, as well as be coherent, consistent, and error-free. With a first fifty critique, you will receive an annotated copy of your line and copyedited first fifty pages (about 12,500 words), along with an editorial letter detailing my feedback and any suggestions or concerns I have about plot, characterization, pacing, and more. If you would like a critique of a shorter portion of your manuscript, such as the first ten pages, please contact me.

I also offer several packages:

Query Package

If you’re getting ready to query—or if you’d like to revamp the materials you’re already using—this is the package for you. You will receive a query critique (feedback on your original and revised query), a synopsis critique (feedback on your original and revised synopsis), and a first 50 critique (feedback via editorial letter and annotated text). You pay $20 less than you would if you purchased each service separately.

Book Map Package

A book map is an overview of a book (in this case, your manuscript), broken down by chapter or scene. It’s a kind of roadmap useful in identifying plot holes, underdeveloped characters, and other developmental concerns. With this package, you will receive a book map tracing the major conflicts and characters in your manuscript, as well as a traditional manuscript critique—an editorial letter detailing developmental strengths and potential weaknesses.

Line and Copy Package

While reading the descriptions of line and copyediting, you may have found yourself confused about why they’re listed as separate services. Perhaps you were sure that the functions of a line edit were part of a copyedit. If you thought this, you’re not entirely wrong. Some editors consider line and copyediting to be two parts of the same process. Although they are distinct, they complement each other and can be performed at the same time. Because of this, I offer a line and copy package. You will receive an annotated copy of your manuscript, a style sheet, and an editorial letter outlining my changes and suggestions.

The Total Package

If you need it all, then the total package is for you. This includes developmental, line, and copyediting, as well as a final proofread. These will not be performed at the same time, except for the line and copyedit. You will have time to revise between each round of editing. For all three rounds of editing, you will receive an annotated copy of your manuscript; for the developmental and line/copy rounds, you will also receive an editorial letter.

Want to know a little more about the person behind the edits? Take a look at my About page. Have a question for me? Visit my FAQ section. Ready for a no-obligation quote or a free consultation? Contact me using the form below or email me at rachel@theeditingskeleton.com.