When I edit, I provide two things: first, I offer an outside perspective on the impact of your manuscript. I am at once the first-time reader providing my impressions, the second-time reader analyzing your text for meaning, and the critic examining the consistency and originality of your work.
Second, I suggest ways to strengthen the text. In order to make suggestions that clarify your message without clouding your voice, I always start with a manuscript assessment.
The assessment process is simple. I will read your manuscript while you answer a bunch of intensely personal questions about your vision for the story. You will send me your responses, and then we will talk. From there, we will decide together which type(s) of editing might benefit your story. I provide four:
After the first draft is on paper, we will examine the foundational elements of your story according to the expectations of the short story form and your genre. We might address things like sequencing, scene building, point of view (POV), character arcs, word count, etc.
When the foundational elements of the story are in place, we will look at how message, theme, language, literary device, authorial voice, and emphasis create meaning and direction for the reader.
Once your story is exactly the way you like it, we will focus on the sentence structure, grammar, usage, and continuity so that there is nothing distracting the reader, publisher, magazine editor, or judge from enjoying (and printing) your story precisely as you intend.
Proofreading isn’t actually editing. It is a process of comparing a proof (the form the manuscript takes when it has been laid out for print) with the final edited copy. I basically examine each word, letter, space, and punctuation mark to make sure it matches your final copy exactly.
Or . . .
you may feel that your manuscript isn’t yet ready for revision and that you would rather focus on strengthening a specific aspect of your writing, like internal dialogue, plot twists, or rhythm in prose. Check out my short story coaching.