Copy Editing

What is a Copy Edit?

Copy editing is and is not what you think. Let’s go through it.

A copy editing sample (free up to 1,500 words) is definitely recommended before we dive in. You’ll want to see if the type of feedback I give when suggesting line edits and make recommendations or suggestions about word choices or sentence structure. I strongly recommend sending me a scene around chapter 4 or 5. This way I can get a good handle on how you move between dialogue and narrative, action and reaction, and point of view.

You may say that you had beta readers and don’t need a copy edit, just a proofread. To be clear, beta readers should be reading for story holes, character inconsistencies, big picture problems in the plot or situations. A copy editor considers word choice, sentence construction for dialects, tone, pacing, and following grammar rules to improve readability.

If you’re working on a series, I can also include the development of a series style guide during copy editing, or work from one you have already created. a series style guide should detail everything unique to your world-building, spellings and parts of speech forms for all lingo, also character and place names so that facts can be quickly looked up and not contradicted.

The copy edit covers tone, voice, word choice, and sentence structure to assure everything flows together in a way that immerses the reader in the story and not stumbling on the language.

Note: what I provide as a copy edit also includes line editing. Line editing fixes punctuation, spelling, grammar, and readability by reordering phrases and clauses, or adjusting sentence lengths, to smooth the reader’s path through the narrative.

By the time copy editing is done, your story is nearly publication ready. All that remains is formatting the file for ebook and print, and proofreading (which I strongly recommend is given to fresh eyes).