novels, novellas, children’s books, memoirs, self-help, and more
When you are happy with your final draft and ready to fix US English mechanical errors and inconsistencies, it is time to hire a professional copy editor to polish grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and style consistency.
Every manuscript is unique, but I often see some common mistakes:
repeated words (such as “the the”)
homophone errors (such as “peak,” “peek,” and “pique”)
missing or unnecessary commas
incorrect word usage (such as “that” versus “which”)
inconsistent spelling of words or names (such as “okay,” “ok,” and “OK”)
inconsistent style (especially numbers and the serial comma)
run-ons and fragments
I copy edit fiction and nontechnical nonfiction manuscripts, using Track Changes in Microsoft Word and following The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. I will also create a style sheet to track your characters, preferences, and creative choices, such as made-up terms or intentional dialogue quirks.
In most cases, I will go through the manuscript twice, first to copy edit and then to review my work. Upon completion, I’ll send the edited file and a clean copy with all changes accepted, although you can certainly reject any of my adjustments—it’s your story.