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LINE/COPY-EDITING

Working on the lines and with the words

What is it?

Another word for this type of edit is a micro-edit. This edit works on the manuscript at a sentence level. It focuses in on the detail. It is all about the words. 

When should I have it done?

When the big picture stuff has been dealt with: the story holds, the characters live, there are no plot holes and the point of view is, on the whole, consistent. Maybe you have had a developmental editor look at the big-picture issues and have rewritten and sorted them out. Maybe your beta-readers are telling you that your story works.

But you know that the standard expected by agents and publishers, novel and short story competitions, and literary journals is very high. Your work needs to sparkle its way to their attention. And, in the case of the self-publishing writer readying their manuscript for publication, there is the standard expected by their readers and reviewers. 

This edit will look at:​

  • punctuation, spelling, grammar

  • ambiguous writing, confusing sentences

  • how dialogue is set off

  • consistent capitalisation and hyphenation

  • repetition, cliché, weak language

  • the rhythm of your sentences

  • how well your paragraphs flow

  • consistency within your world 

  • accuracy in your timeline

  • basic fact checking

  • minor point of view inconsistencies 

  • whether your writing can be made more concise 

Why me?

  • I am an industry-certified and qualified copy-editor through the Publishing Training Centre.

  • I write fiction and am always studying how to make my own writing better. And I know how it feels to send my writing off for appraisal.

  • I am the editor of a literary journal; I know what to look for.

What genre do I work on?

I work on all genres for copy-editing. 

What will it cost?

For a full manuscript of 70–85,000 words, I charge from £400. For smaller pieces – short stories or submissions to competitions or agencies – I charge £8–£15 per 1,000 words, depending on the condition of the manuscript.

Am I the editor for you?

For larger projects I offer a free sample edit of 1,000 words. You can see if my editing style suits you, and I can get an idea of how long the editing will take and how much it will cost. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Client 5

I am a self-employed person and accept translations in various language pairs on a freelance basis, but when I translate from my native language into some other language I always need a native person to discuss the text with. When I work with the English language in this way, Alison Gray is the person that I turn to. 


Alison has proofread and edited the English language text of several books that I translated from Russian. She would have to revise the text and we would then discuss problematic issues, after which she would finalise the English and edit it to improve the quality of the work. This involved a lot of communication as there would be questions on her part, when the text would have to be compared to the original. And, of course, there were always deadlines to be met. But because of Alison's excellent writing skills, which were a great boon for our work, our deadlines were never missed even though every detail was looked into and thoroughly discussed. In fact, I would say that diligence, patience, a friendly attitude and commitment were her main strengths.


Elena Zagrebelnaya, translator