Copy Editing Fiction

Copy Editing for Fiction Authors - photo

What I can do for you
What is copy editing?

Copy editing is intended to prepare books for publishing, making sure the text is appropriate for the intended readership, the structure of the publication is logical and complete, and the writer’s message is clear. This is what I will be doing as I work on your project.


There are limitations on how much I can intervene in your project. I won’t be rewriting, or changing your style and voice. Effective copy editing is about keeping the author and the purpose of the project in mind. I’ll be intervening more than with proofreading but any major changes or suggestions will be queried. Any errors or inconsistencies usually associated with proofreading such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation will be checked with my Copy Editing Fiction service.

What I’ll be doing

Sample assessment

Before anything begins I must read a 2,000-word sample of your story to assess if and how I can help you, and this sample should be sent as a word document or .mobi file. Reading your sample makes me familiar with your project and writing style. I’ll then let you know which areas I can help you with, and I can put together a quote if you have asked for one.

Note: I do not offer free copy edited or proofread samples to you. Why? I prefer to spend my time working with clients, and I can help you best when I’m working with a complete project.

1. First read – this is where I’ll get a feel for your writing style and voice. It’s likely I’ll be highlighting the obvious errors, making relevant notes, summarising the main facts and descriptions about your story for understanding and consistency, recording the main style decisions in a style sheet, and marking anything I’m unsure about to return to later.

2. Priority – specific areas where main issues present/problem areas. These will be different for every individual project, but can include point of view, repetition, superfluous words, exposition, digression, awkward phrasing, first and third person, tense and formatting; indentation, chapter headings, italics for internal thoughts, and punctuation in dialogue.

3. Consistency checks – these will be different for every individual project, but for fiction they can include sense and consistency checks in characters, settings, descriptions, plot, timeline, dates, details, terms, presentation, structure; and finding errors or inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Fact-checking and plausibility checks are not out of the question, among others, but sometimes what I check may depend on what I spot in your project and if you have any specific requirements.

4. Final check – before I send you your copy edited project I will ensure all corrections are tidy and easy to understand, and that nothing looks out of place.

Your requirements

There is no one-size-fits-all. Every project is different.

For anything copy editing or proofreading related, if you let me know of any specific requirements you have for your project or anything you are sure you want me to look for, please let me know when you Contact.

It is important you think about any significant style preferences and of your expectations for your service, so I can do my best to address your needs. Please also help me by making your requirements clear, which will make working together easier.

Delivery of your copy edited project

Work will be delivered on a date close to the estimated completion time. I will keep in regular contact about the status of your project to let you know how it is going and how long it is taking me to work on.

I’ll prepare three MS Word versions for you: one with changes and comments, comments only, and no changes or comments. If you would like your project to be marked up or delivered in an alternative way, please let me know when you Contact.

For more information about this service

What Does Copy Editing Fiction Mean to me?