Copy Editing

More than just perfect punctuation.

The copy edit is an evaluation of your story from the sentence to punctuation level. In addition to correcting errors in sentence mechanics, spelling, usage, and punctuation that distract the reader, it ensures the accuracy and continuity of your characters, world details, and timeline required for reader immersion.

Do you need a copy edit?

A copy edit is ideal if you are happy with your story but want help with your grammar. It is a perfect starting point when you’re breaking rules and want to do it well, if you’re using non-standard English but want to be consistent, when your reader finds your story implausible, or if publishers are rejecting your story based on things like verb tense inconsistency, passive voice, or overly simple/complex sentence structure.

What does a copy editor look for?

I assess the story for continuity, accuracy, sentence mechanics, spelling, usage, and punctuation with the goal of filling in gaps in understanding and helping you develop your technical confidence as a writer.

  • Continuity. If your hero is a ginger in the first paragraph, let’s make sure they’re a ginger in the last. If you say it takes ten weeks to cross the asteroid belt, let’s check that holds up in the timeline.
  • Fact-Checking: Is crossing the asteroid belt in ten weeks even possible? I’ll fact check that for you. (It took Voyager 1 about 154 days.)
  • Sentence Mechanics: I outline the grammar rules as they apply to your story and help you feel confident in your choice to follow them or not.
  • Spelling & Usage. I ensure that your spelling, linguistic register (level of formality), and word choice are correct and consistent with your story and publishing market.
  • Punctuation: I help you make meaningful punctuation choices that support your story and style.

What do you get?

  1. Editorial report. An evaluation of the criteria above with detailed explanations of where you went wrong and how to avoid making the same errors in the future.
  2. Markup. Inline edits and comments in the margins of the manuscript detailing specific examples of each criterion and suggestion outlined in the editorial report.
  3. Clean Copy. A clean, ready-to-submit (or publish) copy of your story where I have integrated all suggested changes for you.
  4. Resources and Next Steps. Guidance on the next steps for integrating changes into your manuscript, including helpful how-tos.

Once the copy edit is complete, you can integrate changes yourself or book a coaching call to work through the revisions together. After you’ve made your changes, you are ready to publish.

What does it cost?

The cost of a copy edit is determined by the strength of your story and ranges between $0.03 and $0.05 per word (minimum $100). Or, submit three flash fiction pieces (1000 words or less) for the minimum fee.

Ready to get started?

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