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Editing Services

What I edit: I have edited manuscripts written for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers, and I specialize in fantasy and science fiction. I work with both novels and short fiction. And I do partial edits, so I'm happy to look at the first 50 pages, an act, or half the story. I don't edit erotica or manuscripts with excessive graphic scenes.

"A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -Thomas Mann

Contact: If you are interested in my services, you can contact me at SeptemberCFawkes[at]gmail[dot]com. Tell me the genre, length, and what kind of edit you are looking for. I may ask to hear more about your vision for the manuscript and any goals you have.


Rate: Send 7 - 10 pages of your work in standard manuscript format as an RTF or Microsoft Word file, and I will provide an estimate, including an expected turnaround time. (These pages will also help us see if we are a good fit.)

* The Editorial Freelancers Association offers medial rates in the industry here.


Developmental Editing

In developmental editing (also called content editing), I analyze the larger parts of the story, and give feedback and guidance on aspects such as characters, plot, setting & worldbuilding, theme, and structure. I may also cover other elements, like subtext, context, audience experience and appeal, relationships, and narrative pacing. This edit focuses on what the story is.

This edit includes:

  • A thorough editorial/critique letter. This is written after I've finished reading the manuscript. It is as long as it needs to be for me to communicate my points. For novels, most of these run 8k - 11k words. For more on my approach to editorial letters and a sample, go here.

  • Chapter-by-chapter document. I also include a chapter-by-chapter document, where at the end of each chapter, I write 1 - 3 paragraphs about my experience reading it. For more about this and an example, go here.

  • Manuscript comments. While reading, I may leave comments in the actual document that speak to the content of that specific passage. In lighter edits or per request, I may skip this.

Line Editing

In line editing, I go through the manuscript and evaluate the way the story is written, looking at such things as descriptions dialogue, blocking, flow, line-by-line continuity, specificity, clarity in meaning, sentence structure, word choice, and how accurately the writer is communicating to the reader. I will consider how the writer can communicate more powerfully. I may also occasionally watch for grammatical issues and reoccurring punctuation problems. This edit focuses on how the story is told.

This edit includes:

  • An editorial/critique letter focused on how the story is told. This is shorter than my typical critique letters and focuses on general and reoccurring strengths and weaknesses related to line editing.  

  • Manuscript comments. While reading, I will leave comments in the document about how the story can be told better or more powerfully.

  • Track changes. I may shift, delete, or rewrite lines as suggestions or to illustrate a point. All of these are tracked and may be accepted or rejected. Depending on the project, I may do this often or seldom.

Light vs. Heavy

I now offer two types of line editing: light or heavy. In light line editing, I will go through the MS and give general guidance and direction, with some examples. In heavy line editing, I will literally comb the lines, sentence by sentence. Light line editing can be paired with developmental editing. Heavy line editing can't. I only take on a limited amount of heavy line editing.

Manuscript Evaluation

In a manuscript evaluation, I will simply read through the manuscript and give overall, general feedback in an editorial letter. I will talk about how both the story and writing can be improved. This is quicker and more budget friendly than my other edits, but not as deep.

This edit includes:

  • An editorial/critique letter. This is written after I've finished reading the manuscript. It is as long as it needs to be for me to communicate my points.  For more on my approach to editorial letters and a sample, go here.

I am willing to tweak my approaches to suit you and your project's needs. 

Consultation Calls

If you are struggling with a story or need guidance on the craft, and prefer to talk it out, we can set up a consultation call. I'll listen to your troubles and thoughts and provide real time feedback (and if necessary, a follow-up email with resources for you).

The Triarchy Method (Writing Course)

The Triarchy Method will help you craft your best book by focusing on what matters most: The “bones” of story. This content-focused course will help you brainstorm better and more relevant material, evaluate what ideas most belong in your story (preventing you from writing hundreds of pages that need to be scrapped), and craft a page-turning plot with compelling characters that sticks with readers long after they’ve closed the book (. . . and hopefully leads them to preorder your next book).

This is a live, online course that is limited to 10 students. Each class is about 75 minutes, and there is a total of 23 classes. You will receive a developmental assignment with nearly every lesson, which I will give feedback on. (Auditing is available for those who only want the lectures.) Learn more about The Triarchy Method here.

online writing course better_edited.jpg

Writing Tips (Free)

Sign up for my mailing list and get free writing tips delivered straight to your inbox. You'll also receive a free copy of my booklet, Core Principles of Crafting Protagonists (remember to "bookmark" it). Or visit my blog for all my writing tips, new and old.

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