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My job is to help your writing shine.

Writing a book, a short story, an article, or a report takes hard work and dedication. To be at the point where you're searching for an editor is a major achievement—congratulations on that! Whether you choose to self-publish or submit to a traditional publisher, you want your work to be the best that it can be. That's where an editor comes in.

The fact that you're here right now shows that you understand the value of having your work edited. According to Editors Canada, "editing involves carefully reviewing material before it is published and suggesting or making changes to improve it." Let me help ensure that your material is consistent, correct, and clear and that its content, language, and style meet the needs of its audience. I offer structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, and proofreading.

Please contact me to discuss your project. 

"After working with Melissa for over a year on a monthly basis, I can attest to her skill as an editor. Melissa does not impose her own style or attempt to give the piece her own spin. She makes careful grammatical suggestions that enhance the story. She is collegial in her style and respectful of the writer’s offerings. She understands the working relationship well."

—Susan Garrod-Schuster, author

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Structural editing is concerned with the overall structure—or big picture—of a manuscript. It's the first level of editing and the place to start if you have a new manuscript. With this type of editing, not only will I thoroughly evaluate your manuscript, but I will also provide you with a marked-up manuscript, a chapter-by-chapter synopsis, and a detailed editorial assessment. For fiction, I focus on structure, plot, character, dialogue, setting, pace, point of view, and tense. For non-fiction, I consider organization, logic, flow, and clarity.

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Once you have the overall structure of your manuscript worked out, it's time for a stylistic or line edit, which takes a detailed look at a manuscript's style and is more of a paragraph-level edit. With this type of editing, I look at paragraph structure, sentence transitions, flow, voice or tone, bias, jargon, reading level, and length. 

After a stylistic edit, it's time for a copy edit, and often the two are combined. Copy editing is more of a mechanical process, with "rights and wrongs." With this type of editing, I look at ensuring clarity, consistency, and correctness of such elements as spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, grammar, punctuation, etc.

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Proofreading is often confused with copy editing. As the name suggests, proofreading is the reading of proofs of an edited manuscript. It's the last step in the editorial workflow after copy editing and typesetting but before final publication. Here, I look to ensure that all changes have been made, that there are no significant errors (e.g. missing page numbers, imbalanced spreads, bad breaks, etc.), and that the typesetting is of good quality. I also look for errors that may have been missed in the copy-editing stage.

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"Thank you! Thank you! I am so grateful for Melissa's expert eyes on my manuscript. She provided insightful perspectives and helped sculpt the content in a way that made me think about why I had made the choices I had made. Her editorial help has made me a better writer." 

—Shanon Dawn, author of The Marriage Prescription

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You won't find pricing info here on my website. That's because no two projects are the same. Your writing may need a light copy edit, while another author's writing may need a heavy edit. In order to quote your project, I'll do a free sample edit on a section of your manuscript. This will help you see what you can expect from me in terms of editing style and give you confidence in what you're paying for. Please contact me to discuss your project. 

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