Editing

Hi! So you’ve figured out this is the heart of West of Mars, huh? Even more than writing books, Susan loves to edit. And even more than she loves to work on her own books, she adores working on the fiction of others.

Editing, in and of itself, is pretty straightforward. Susan and her subcontractors offer all levels of editing, depending on your needs. And no, we won’t tell you that you need more than you do, although sometimes we’ll ask you to think about doing something more intensive, to better your own work and help you raise your craft. If you say no, that’s okay! We can and will continue with our relationship as it currently is.

Around here, there are three levels of editing: Content, Line, and Proofreading. They break down like this:
content: the most comprehensive editing we do, which looks at the big picture items of plot, pacing, characterization. We’ll also look, as much as we can, at your use of language and how it can be altered to have different effects on the reader, and we’ll address grammar issues, as well. Editing at this level, however, doesn’t mean you no longer need a final proofread! Our subcontractors will be glad to do that final step for you, using the West of Mars style for continuity.

line: This is the level of editing most West of Mars clients wind up using, and it’s possibly Susan’s favorite type of editing. The savvy among you will realize there’s a lot of elements of plot, characterization, and pacing that can be controlled and directed by the mere use of language. We also look for echo words, odd phrasings, and yes, how word placement in a sentence or paragraph affects how a reader interacts with your prose. Like with content editing, while we’ll address grammar issues, you will still need a final proofread. Our subcontractors will be glad to do that final step for you, using the West of Mars style for continuity.

proofreading: This is a simple grammar check, but we’ll also point out things that are glaringly wrong. Has your entire meaning been thrown off by a misplaced modifier? We’ll flag that. Has your female character been referred to with a male pronoun? That, we’ll fix and usually write a note about why, so you can laugh at your own mistake. (And do be kind to yourself and laugh at these common errors. We all make them; they are how you know you’re human!) Yes, this can be your final step in the process, although if you have a lot of changes or wind up making a number of alterations after this edit, we suggest one last one. It’s not to pad our pockets so much as it is to help you publish the best book possible. No one likes a lot of typos.

That said, typos are inevitable, and Susan suspects Word inserts some at random, no matter how carefully you chase them away.

All that said, click on through to see what ELSE we can do for you. When we said we like to provide full services, we weren’t kidding!

Fiction Editing »

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