Developmental Editing

You’re champing at the bit to get out of the stalls and start the race. But wait. Maybe your form is not yet the best and could do with improvement. Developmental editing offers strategic guidance to shape your text, letting you know what works and what doesn’t, which passages are overwritten or underwritten, how convincing your arguments are, whether you are likely to bore or irritate readers by unnecessary repetition, how well your language reflects what you are trying to say – and more. Hear that? You’re off!

Copy/Line Editing

A distinction is sometimes made between copy editing and line editing. A copy edit emphasises grammar, syntax, passive and active voice, spelling and punctuation, whereas a line edit investigates the context of the words and whether they reflect the author’s intention. In my experience, copy editing makes little sense unless accompanied by line editing.

All editing is, after all, a process of conveying your intended meaning as smoothly and clearly as possible to your readers. Even if you ask me to do only one or the other, I’ll do both for you as a single process, even if that means going through your manuscript more than once.

I approach your manuscript as your typical reader: if I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, it’s likely your prospective readers won’t either. So, I’ll fix problems of clarity, style, grammar, syntax, consistency, overuse of cliches or common words and phrases and conformity with common English usage (especially useful to writers whose first language is not English) to ensure your prose is polished and says what you mean it to say.