Fiction Line Editing

novel and novella manuscripts

Line editing focuses on creativity and readability at the sentence, paragraph, and scene levels, when you are happy with your story and structure but want to elevate your prose. I will subjectively consider how you tell your story and find opportunities to take it to the next level.

Individual needs vary, but I often encounter these issues:

  • overused words

  • awkward phrases

  • unnecessary words and phrases (and sometimes sentences, or even scenes)

  • tense shifts

  • inconsistent narrator/point of view (such as “head hopping”)

  • clunky sentence structure

  • weak transitions

  • passive verbs and sentences

  • bad dialogue tags (maybe overcompensating for weak dialogue)

  • plot inconsistencies 

I line edit genre and literary fiction for middle-grade to adult novels. My typical process includes two passes, one to read the entire manuscript and one to edit, but it varies based on the work involved. I edit in Microsoft Word, using Track Changes and comments, and send three files upon completion: the edited manuscript, a clean copy, and a style sheet. 

I will identify the weaknesses and offer viable solutions, no rewriting or ghostwriting. Of course you know your story best, so you can decide what to do with my suggestions—use them, reject them, or let them trigger your own new ideas. I will also note when you do something exceptionally well.

Click to see a sample line edit.

Contact me to discuss your novel and editing needs.

“She is very organized, detailed and systematic while at the same time being very

creative with suggestions and honest with her feedback. She took my novel to the next level and

I couldn’t have done it without her.”​

—West W., Novelist

Fiction line editor for your novel, novella, or series.