There are two stages of fiction editing:
• manuscript appraisal (also referred to as a structural edit)
• copy editing
Manuscript appraisal – the big picture
A manuscript appraisal shows you where your book is working and where it needs work. It gives you direction and confidence to get to the next draft.
Lu delved deep and her appraisal helped immensely in
writing the next draft, which was a massive improvement from
where it had started.
Tommy Cotton – These pictures of us
Most editors offer manuscript appraisals as a written report, but I offer them as a recorded video workshop, which has three advantages over a written report:
- we can discuss what you want to achieve and what you’ve already tried, which allows me to offer advice that’s specific to your skills and experience
- we can workshop issues and ideas and possibly come up with solutions together (two heads are better than one)
- it costs less than a written appraisal (hooray!)
I offer two appraisal options:
- mini appraisal for the first 15K words
- maxi appraisal for your complete manuscript.
A mini appraisal can be really helpful if you:
- want to know if you are on the right track
- need to reboot your confidence in your book
- have an endless draft that you can’t rein in (yes I can help you with that even when I only read 15K words).
A maxi appraisal is great for when you’ve written and revised as far as you can go, and are ready for some feedback.
What does the appraisal workshop cover?
As with a written manuscript appraisal, the workshop looks at all the building blocks of your book.
- story arc
- character development
- scene and setting
- rhythm, pace and tension.
When is the right time to get a manuscript appraisal?
An appraisal can be helpful with either a finished draft or a work in progress.
- For a finished draft it will pick up any areas that need to be tightened or developed before the fine tuning of copy editing.
- For a work in progress it can pin-point opportunities for development, give you reassurance you are on the right track, or help you get back on track if you’ve wandered off course.
If you’ve not had your manuscript read by someone who is able to give constructive feedback, such as a fellow writer or a beta reader, I highly recommend you start your editing journey with an appraisal. It’s important to look at the big picture before you deep dive into detail. It will result in a better book and can save you money in the long run.
How much does it cost?
- mini appraisal (first 15K words) $450
- maxi appraisal (full manuscript) from $1400 for 80K words
What happens after the appraisal?
The aim of the appraisal is that you have enough feedback to get to final draft, ready for copy editing.
If you need further support to get to final draft, we can set up a writing coaching plan to help you through the next development phase.
Is a manuscript appraisal your next step towards being published?Book a manuscript appraisal workshop
Copy editing – the detail
Copy editing is the final polish. It focuses on your writing line by line, making sure the language, rhythm and flow are serving the story and the characters as best they can.
It’s precious for a writer to see the editor engage with your manuscript
in such depth, and in such a supportive way. It builds a relationship of trust.
I like how your comments range from word choice and syntax to
narrative technique and character development.
Gilbert Van Hoeydonck
Copy editing is the last phase of editing before proofreading. Your manuscript needs to be in the best shape it can be structurally before you send it for copy editing, otherwise you could be wasting your money.
If you are ready for a copy edit, get in touch for a free sample edit. This will give you a good understanding of what you’ll be getting.Get a free sample edit