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Editing is a complex, multi-faceted undertaking. As writers, we believe our command of English equips us to produce professional-grade novels, short stories, papers, blogs, business plans, or whatever. The truth is, we can all benefit from having another set of eyes (or two) engaged on our projects.


To make it all just a little harder to grasp, there are a number of editing disciplines to choose from. I've compiled brief descriptions for the major types below. Please take a moment to review them and then I'll focus on the editing services I deliver for writers and authors.

Developmental Editing: Some writers may need an editor in the earliest stages of a project. A writer might know exactly what they want to say, but struggle to transition their idea clearly to paper. A developmental editor works closely with the writer to take that idea or concept, and put it all together in an organized, coherent, engaging document.


Line Editing: Line editors sit somewhere between the developmental editor and the copy editor (see below). Their job is to address the writer's content, style, and language use. A line editor is not going to spend their time searching for errors in your manuscript. Instead, they will focus on how a writer uses language to communicate their story. If a developmental editor helps one build a race car, the line editor tweaks the design, suggests updates for the tires, transmission, fuel system, etc. until the new car is ready to hit the track and begin testing.

Copy Editing: You're probably tired of the race car analogy by now. We're almost finished! Your car has completed testing and it's running well. However, before you enter the race, all of the component parts need to be checked to ensure the car can perform to its peak ability. A copy editor runs your car (okay, manuscript) through diagnostics (think Chicago Manual of Style or the author's preferred style guide). The copy editor's job is to get you ready to publish.

So what kind of editing do I do?


In oligopolistic days, when print publishing ruled the industry, the copy editor was the last stop before a manuscript went to the formatter and type setter. After the document was formatted, it was sent to a proofreader for a final proof before publication. In many respects, a proofreader today does much of what a copy editor used to do, but is still the last stop before a work is published.


Recently, the popularity of self-publishing has - by necessity - created a new editing type: the hybrid. I do offer writers straight-up proofreading services, but I also provide hybrid editing services. Most industry professionals will agree that no one person can catch every mistake but, as a hybrid editor, I bring facets of line editing, copy editing and proofreading together in one package to deliver great results for my clients.

Hybrid Editing (Basic): In certain respects, some might consider this service a gussied-up proofread. And while it does include the usual checks for spelling, grammar and usage, there is much more here. From a copy editing standpoint, it also includes style and consistency checks. For example, I've edited works in which the color of a particular vehicle changed between chapters. Those are the sorts of copy editing elements included in this service.

Hybrid editing (Basic)*: Five (5) to ten (10) manuscript pages** per hour 
 - $35 per hour


Hybrid Editing (Advanced): An advanced hybrid edit includes all the features of the basic package, while also employing elements of line editing. As I (hopefully) made clear above, line editing is not focused on the technical details, but is more concerned with how the story is developed and written. How do the sentences flow? Is dialog tight and on character? Does word choice convey your ideas in the strongest possible way?

Hybrid editing is not developmental editing. Instead, think of it as fine tuning an already complete story arc to maximize the power of the author's voice.

Due to the depth of work involved, advanced hybrid editing takes several passes through a manuscript to be effective. Story-based components will come first and be more collaborative. After the author is happy with those adjustments, the next passes will address style and consistency, with a thorough proofread to apply the final polish.

Hybrid editing (Advanced)*: Two (2) to five (5) manuscript pages** per hour
 - $45 per hour


* MS Word format is preferred but other document formats can be supported/discussed as needed.

** For all projects, a page is considered 250 manuscript words.

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Michael Dunne

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Click below to fill out the contact form and request your complimentary 1-page sample edit

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