Developmental Editing and Copy Editing

Help-U-Write offers a variety of Editing Services depending on whether you are writing a fiction or non-fiction manuscript or creating content for a webpage, brochure, or advertisement.

No matter what you write, you want to use some form of editing before putting it in print. The process is the same whether you have written fiction or non-fiction text. It is also very similar whether you are writing a full-length novel or non-fiction book or simply a short one or two page document.

Developmental Editing focuses on the manuscript as a whole and identifies areas where the content is unclear or repetitive. The editor will not only monitor sentence structure, word usage, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but will also keep track of characters and/or major themes to be sure these are consistently and interestingly described throughout the text. The Developmental Editor strives to ensure that information, characterization, theme and plot are clearly and consistently communicated throughout the entire manuscript.

Copy Editing also looks at the whole document with the intention of ensuring that the information is presented understandably but it focuses more on word choice and correct usage. The primary emphasis in this type of edit is on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary and less on the content, setting, action or characters in the book. It is usually completed when the final draft is completed and the manuscript now needs a thorough review before it is published.

Both types of editing serve a very useful purpose. Sometimes you may have used “jargon” or slang which is very familiar to you because you use it daily but may be unfamiliar to your audience. Sometimes an event needs more explanation because it is unique to a particular locale, occupation, or ethnic group. Whatever the reason that something is not coming across as clearly as it might, editing can point out not only errors in grammar usage, but also places in the text where description can be elevated, a character can be made more unique, or the tension and drama of a scene can be heightened.

At Help-U-Write, we value the uniqueness of each author’s voice. In other words, while our primary goal is to make your written work as clear, interesting, and engaging as possible, we also strive to be careful that the revisions we suggest don’t interfere or eliminate your unique style or “voice” in expressing your thoughts. At all times in the editing process, we suggest changes, but it is up to you whether you follow our suggestions or go in a different direction.

Both Developmental Editing and Proofreading can be billed by the job or by the hour, depending on the length and difficulty of the manuscript. For short pieces, we usually charge by the hour.

If you have a longer manuscript – a book or novel – we request that you submit 5 double spaced pages from the first chapter and 5 double spaced pages from the middle of the manuscript, and for a small fee, we will edit them and discuss it with you. That will let you know exactly what our process is like and whether our suggestions will work for you. It also gives us a better idea of how long it will take us to edit your full manuscript.