Editing Services

I have edited manuscripts written for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers, with most of my experience being in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. I don't edit erotica or stories with excessive graphic scenes. I work with both novels and short fiction.

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

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 might have. I'll ask for an excerpt of your work in standard manuscript format as an RTF or Microsoft Word file. I'll then edit those pages to come up with an estimate, and you'll be able to see if my approach suits you.

Content Editing

In content editing, I look at the larger parts of the story, identifying and providing suggestions for weaknesses and possible ideas to take strengths to the next level. This may include such aspects as plot, characterization, theme, overall story structure, arcs, pacing, conflict, and setting. It also may contain more specific elements, like subtext, context, audience experience and appeal, tension, relationships, and hitting the right emotions. This edit focuses on what the overall 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've recently started including a chapter-by-chapter document, where at the end of each chapter, I write 1 - 3 paragraphs about my experience reading it.

  • 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.

I am willing to work with you on your needs.

Line Editing

In line editing, I go through the manuscript line by line, evaluating the way the story is written and looking at such things as tone, style, flow, descriptions, blocking, in-text emotional beats, line-by-line continuity, specificity, clarity in meaning, sentence structure, word choice, dialogue, and how accurately the writer is communicating to the reader. I will consider how the writer can communicate more powerfully. I may also 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 writer and MS, I may do this often or seldom.


In copyediting, I will watch for and fix typos, grammatical issues, punctuation errors, spelling, inappropriate changes in tenses, improper word choice, misplaced modifiers, and more. This is an edit that should only be done after the content and overall lines of the story have been solidified, and the writer wants to fix errors on a word by word level.

Please note: I only take on a limited amount of copyediting at a time.

This edit includes:

  • Manuscript comments. I may leave comments in the document about reoccurring problems and how to fix them. This can be excluded on request.

  • Track changes. I will fix problems with words, grammar, and punctuation. All changes are tracked and will need to be accepted or rejected by you.

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 content edit, 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.

With each manuscript I edit, I'm open to tweaking my specific approach to suit your needs.

I am open to doing content and line edits simultaneously.

I am willing to do partial edits.

If money is an issue, we can discuss alternative approaches that can cut on costs.

© 2017 by September C. Fawkes


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