Your story is nearly out the door: your characters are alive and engaged, your conflict is irresistible, and the whole piece thrums with your themes. You’re ready to share it with the world, but you sense it might need a once-over: Do all your verbs agree with your subjects? Does “enervated” mean what you think it means? Did you lose track of the clothes someone was wearing between scenes?
That’s where I come in. My influence is, by its nature, invisible—I don’t rewrite anything. What I do is show you how to streamline it in parts, flesh it out in others, all while ensuring it sounds like the story only you could tell.
Other editors take great pride in their mistaken and outdated rules. They resist the evolution of our living language, and they may even use their “expertise” as a weapon to attack others, stifling brilliant ideas and shaming emerging voices into silence.
What makes me different is my flexibility: I’ve studied the history of English language, and I watch how it flows and changes today. The two things I always consider for how any body of writing should look are context and audience. The rules for submitting to an academic journal aren’t the same guidelines for BDSM or monster porn. Obviously.
- This is where I fix the commas and dashes, point out the incomplete sentence, highlight issues with word choice, etc. This is the very technical edit where I clean up the basic errors and typos so it looks like a standard document. There is no interpretation here: I’m deferring to Chicago Manual of Style, unless we have discussed your individual style preferences.
- Substantive/Stylistic Editing
- The substantive edit is where I scrutinize the syntax and make sure each line is expressing exactly what you intended. Short sentences for action; Latin adjectives for luxurious description; striking out the redundant words and tightening up your narrative. And I’ll point out consistency errors, like when your character’s been lying in bed and suddenly they’re standing outside.