Creative Works – Editing and Proofreading

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These editing services are specialized primarily for creative works, such as novel manuscripts. They delve into architectural, thematic, and stylistic suggestions to strengthen the work. Services may review wide-scale elements, such as plot, pacing, characterization, scene and setting, tone, and voice. Other services may focus on small-scale elements, such as spelling, sentence structure, and consistency of details.

Specific services include:

  • Editorial Assessment –
    An editorial assessment is a summary review of your work-in-progress (WIP). No marks are made in the manuscript itself. Instead, a 3-5 page assessment letter provides an overview of the story, highlights the strengths of the work, and identifies opportunities for improvement (e.g., flat characters, weak relationships, unbalanced scenes, plot holes, etc.) The letter may also point out smaller details, such as repetitive writing tics. Overall, this service is meant to establish what is working well in the story and create a revision map for the writer to move forward with their WIP.

  • Developmental Editing –
    Developmental editing, also called structural editing, is an in-depth review of the manuscript as a whole. It includes a comprehensive analysis of writing elements: diction and spelling, syntax (sentence phrasing), structure of events (plot, pacing, etc.), characterization (motivation, relationships), etc.

    Additionally, these edits will consider industry factors, such as audience and shelf placement. Does the work engage effectively with target readers? Does the manuscript expand on or work with tropes and concepts in a novel way? Are there similar books already available?

    As part of the editing service, the work will be read entirely, with line edits and notes applied throughout the text, in addition to an editorial assessment. The assessment will provide a description of the story with an overview of strengths and weaknesses.

    Developmental edits may drastically change elements of the manuscript; as a result, this level of editing should be done before copy-editing and proofreading phases, either by the writer (ideally in collaboration with beta readers), or through a professional service.

  • Copy Editing –
    Copy editing is a focused review of a manuscript’s text (copy) to address word-by-word and sentence-by-sentence issues. These include typos, spelling or grammar mistakes, abrupt mood or tone shifts within a scene, and inconsistencies in detail. The service improves readability of the manuscript, ensuring that the reader’s suspension of disbelief stays intact.

  • Proofreading –
    The final phase, proofreading, is a letter-by-letter or character-by-character review of the text. At this point, larger-scale issues in plot, characterization, and scene have been worked out through developmental and copy editing. Proofreading is meant to polish a proof to ensure it is ready for publication. This service looks for typos, forgotten author or editor notes, misplaced or missing punctuation, awkward spacing and paragraph breaks, etc.

The editing process is a dialogue between the writer and the editor to strengthen the work and help the writer realize their vision. To discuss your editing needs, please fill out the form below or send an email to info@gerhardteditorial.com!