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My services

I offer a variety of services for the following clients:

Independent novelists

Fiction editing, both literary and commercial, is one of my specialties. If you have written or plan to write a novel, then whatever your level of experience and whether you intend to self-publish or attract an agent or publisher, I can help give your manuscript the best possible chance of success.

The first step is normally to send me a short sample of your work, so that between us we can decide on the level of intervention that is appropriate and with which you are comfortable.

A number of levels of editorial treatment are available to self-publishing novelists. Definitions vary within the publishing industry and there is much overlap, but my take on the options is as follows:

i) Developmental editing

Also known as structural editing, substantive editing or content editing, developmental editing looks at the big picture and may include substantial rewriting. It typically includes the following elements:

• Layout and formatting

• The intended readership

• Genre

• Plot

• Setting

• Characterisation

• Point of view

• Pacing

• Storytelling devices

• Author intrusion

• Dialogue dos and don’ts

• Narrative dos and don’ts

ii) Line editing

Also known as stylistic editing, this takes place at the paragraph level and includes:

• Style

• Voice

• Use of language

• Rhythm

• Clarity

• Flow

iii) Copyediting

A copy edit drills down to sentence level and looks at:

• Consistency

• Spelling

• Punctuation

• Grammar and syntax

• Usage

iv) Proofreading

Proofing takes place at the level of individual words and is the final check of all the points of finer detail, as well as many elements from a line or copy edit (above), an important distinction being that proofreading tends to involve corrections while line and copy editing involve improvements. Issues addressed include:

• Layout and formatting

• Spelling

• Punctuation

• Grammar and syntax

• Usage

Making the right choice

Typically, your novel will benefit from a combination of several of the above editorial treatments.

It can be daunting to hand your creation over without knowing what to suggest or expect; but that is where an experienced editor can help, offering professional advice and suggesting which combination might be appropriate in order to get the very best out of your manuscript.

Having put the options, however, your editor should be happy to step back ultimately, it is your project and an editor forgets that at his or her peril!

My own approach is to use a sample edit to show what might be worth addressing, and then to listen.

Mainstream publishers

I offer fiction and non-fiction copyediting for mainstream publishers.

Having been published several times myself, I have a good understanding of the process from the author’s perspective, which I find can be helpful.

Law publishers

I am a qualified solicitor and spent some years in private practice in the litigation department of a large firm of Edinburgh solicitors, so I can follow a brief and am comfortable with legalese. I offer both copyediting and proofreading for law publishers.

£ Fees

It is difficult to give an accurate idea of cost without seeing a sample of the work, as every project is different and the level of intervention required (or requested) varies enormously. Normally, the procedure is that I edit a short sample without charge and we take it from there that way, I can estimate the number of hours the project is likely to take (and therefore the fee) and, just as important, you can decide whether I am a good fit as your editor!

Email Michael Faulkner  If you would like to make an enquiry, please email me here.