No matter how skilled you are,
you can’t be another person.
Try as you might, you can’t look at your own work in the unbiased way another person can. It’s important to have another set of eyes to look over your writing—especially if that other set of eyes enjoys cutting clutter, simplifying sentences, and eradicating errors.
(Besides what the oh-so-clever alliteration up there says, my shiny qualifications include training from the PEN Institute on copyediting and editing for indie authors as well as a lineup of testimonials.)
I offer affordable line editing services for fiction, perfect for indie authors.
What does a line edit do?
A line edit is one of the final stages of a manuscript, performed after the large-scale edits are finished. Once all the building blocks for the story are in place, it’s time to look at individual scenes, paragraphs, and sentences to ensure a powerful delivery that lives up to the plot.
Here are some things I look for when I’m line editing:
- Scene pacing, momentum, and tone
- Strengthening character voice through dialogue and internal narration
- Info-dumping and ways to eliminate it
- Ways to immerse the reader more deeply into the scene
- Head hopping/point of view slip
- Ways to adjust individual sentences and paragraphs for clarity and style
- Basic grammar check and copy edit*
*Note: Copyediting done in the middle of the line editing process is likely to miss things, since sentences are still being changed up. I recommend hiring a copyeditor and/or proofreader in addition to a line editor.
Since I spent three years as an EMT, I can also help you make sure character injuries and first aid are realistic. I’m by no means a medical authority, but I can help you avoid common errors found in fiction.
How It Works
Step 1: Sample Edit (optional)
If we’ve never worked together before, I’d be happy to do a free sample edit up to 2500 words. I’ll subtract that sample off the total manuscript price if you decide to go with my services.
There is no obligation to proceed with my services after a sample. Every editor has a different style, and it’s wise to “shop around” so you can find someone who is a good match for you.
Step 2: Readiness Assessment
I read through your entire manuscript to assess if it’s ready for a line edit.
If your story is tight and ready to go, great! I can then jump right into edits. I’ll subtract the cost of the readiness assessment from the total editing cost.
Chances are, I’ll reach out to you with observations on the plot and character arcs before you get started with the line edit itself. Note that I’m not a content editor, so my feedback will be closer to an experienced beta reader. I’ll also provide suggestions so you can self-edit any recurring phrasing issues before the line edit, which will allow me to focus on more specific, unique things when I do my detailed edit—more bang for your buck.
Once you’ve made any edits you want to after the readiness assessment, we can then proceed with the line edit.
However, if you decide that you’d like to pursue more content editing before the line edit, there is no obligation to move forward with the line edit.
Step 3: Line Edit
This is where I take your writing scene by scene, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, and find ways to make sure the pacing comes across right, scenes have the emotional impact they have the potential for, and the phrasing is clear, consistent, and easy to understand.
I will create a style sheet to ensure consistency in spelling and punctuation for unique words to your world, as well as consistency for words with multiple forms (e.g., toward vs. towards). This style sheet will be available for you to use or share with a copyeditor and/or proofreader later on in the process. I edit in American English spelling and punctuation, but if there are any special exceptions, we can note those on the style sheet.
Free! Up to 2,500 words.
Short stories (up to 10k words): $25
Novellas (10k–50k): $50
Novels (50k–100k): $75
Long novels (100k–200k): $100
Epics (200k+): $150
Note: With exceptions granted on a case-by-case basis, the readiness assessment is a required step before the line edit. If you proceed with a line edit after the readiness assessment, the cost of the assessment will be subtracted from the line edit cost.
$0.01/word, rounded down to the nearest dollar
Still not sure? Check out these testimonials.
Line edit FAQs:
How do I know if my project is ready for a line edit?
While there’s no simple litmus test to see if your work is ready, here are some things you can do. The more of these boxes you can check, the more confident you can feel that your work is ready for a line edit.
- All the major pieces of your story are in place
- Your character arcs feel cohesive
- You can’t find any more plot holes
- You have implemented feedback from multiple beta readers
- You have implemented feedback from a content/developmental editor
- Your main focus right now is making it read smoothly
Personally, I tend to complete two or three drafts, get beta readers, and implement their feedback in another draft or two before I consider hiring an editor.
What if I thought my work was ready, but there were plot holes I didn’t notice?
If I notice any plot holes or other large-scale problems while doing the readiness assessment, I’ll let you know. After all, writers have got to have each others’ backs!
From there, we can adjust the project’s timeline depending on how long you spend doing further edits, or you can choose to hold back from proceeding with a line edit.
Ultimately, however, I’m not a developmental editor and I can’t offer structural feedback greater than a beta reader could. You’re responsible for ensuring your work is ready for line editing.
What can I do to help facilitate high-quality edits?
Smooth out any issues you can see on your end first. After all, there’s no sense in paying me to catch issues you could fixed yourself!
Also, please run a spellchecking program and fix glaring grammar mistakes.
What formats do you work with?
My preferred format is Google Docs. That way, we can collaborate real-time on suggestions or comments.
I’m also willing to work with files for LibreOffice and Word.
If you need something else, feel free to ask and we can chat about it.
What does getting a line edit look like? How will the feedback be provided?
For the readiness assessment, I will send you an email with my overall thoughts. I may also leave comments on the document.
For the line edit, I offer comments and suggestions on the document. After completing the project, I will send you an email with overall thoughts.
Ultimately, you have full control over the final product. You choose how and when to implement my suggestions; you may accept them, reject them, or find a different solution to an issue than I suggested.
Disclaimer: I reserve the right to turn down projects for any reason, including but not limited to unavailability to complete your project within the given time frame, discomfort with the subject matter, a technical document that requires unusual and difficult formatting, etc. If your project is turned down after payment, I will issue a full refund.