When Red Edits For You

backwards 2When I edit your novel, I do it “ass-backwards” when compared to the usual order of things – deliberately so you, the author, can rethink about major changes over time before we call it “done and dusted”.
It also means proofreading is done, no extra charge.

The usual editing process comes after your draft is completed, and while putting the draft together writers can use critique partners or teams, writing groups, reference material to check facts…
Then editing starts with Content first, including the story and its arc, character definition and how they behave/speak and act, plot flow (and holes) and major “big picture” stuff.
When those are sorted is the Proofing done – spelling, grammar, dialogue, punctuation, etc., – the “picky stuff”.

That doesn’t work for us.
When you pay my flat fee, you are paying for up to three “rounds” of editing.
I am not an editor who scrabbles through your hard work, making changes word-by-word – I simply cannot do that.
(This is probably due to being a teacher/lecturer for thirty-odd years. Bloopers, I like to say, “jump out and grab my eyeballs”.)

So I start at the last process – proofing ― reading through and correcting typos of all kinds.
I can work through that in a shorter time, and get a real feel for the writer’s voice – your voice – and for the overall story being told.

[All the changes I make you see when, on receiving Edit 1_YourTitle.docx, you go to the Review Tab, select the Tracking section, and set it to show All Markup.
Then you select how and what you want to Show Markup, and in Balloons: choose to Show Revisions in Balloons or to Show All Revisions Inline.
Now you can work through your Edit 1 file and Accept each change one by one.
(Or Reject any – sometimes a foreign language will throw me).]

When you are satisfied I have caught and corrected all bloopers, you are free to do further additional writing or rewriting of your own.
When you send it back to me and it arrives for Edit 2, I get to the real work, without distraction.
For some works I make my own notes re anything that seems not to be working for your story. (These notes I send with the edited file, if requested.)

I question everything – scene location and character description, the story’s time-line, character background and motivation, who wants what (from whom, and why) and how they go about it (feasibility, possibility, actions, and what-if).
Does each chapter end in a way that the reader think “I’ll just start the next”? Are the scene’s described in an info-dump or by slipped tit-bits into the action or dialogue? Does the content remain consistent throughout?
If one of a series a stand-alone, or require the reader to have read the previous book? (Not always a bad thing, but as editor I cannot check the previous works in a series to ascertain consistency within a whole series. You understand that, yes?)

Again, I send you back Edit 2_YourTitle.docx, and it’s your turn to check on me and Accept, Reject, or rework anything you may have thought of yourself.
(Remember, I said my process allows you to rethink, before you commit to submission.)
If at that stage you feel your MS is good to go, then you return the file to me, pay me the completion payment, and I send back a copy without any watermark.

If you want a third round then, when you send back your MS, I again go through Edit 3_YourTitle.docx.
When I have completed that, I send the account to pay.
When paid, I return you a clear copy of the final edited manuscript.

I have used this three-round service for many of my clients.
When a client returns for another work to be edited, I then feel I know their writer voice, which helps me even more.
Further, during any stage I will email you with any query I have, and your reply helps me do the best job I can for you.

At no further cost, I will blog the release of your publication.

You and your writing are the most important thing in my life
from the moment your MS arrives to the moment it is released.