Expertise from a skilled word wrangler





Do you have semicolon nightmares? Does your manuscript contain some awkward passages? Sometimes it’s difficult to think about grammar and mechanics when you’re just trying to get a character from one place to the next—you were rightly concentrating on the creative process. Let me take the reins and help raise your story to a professional level.

Rest assured, all work is strictly confidential and respected.

Editorial tasks I perform

I offer a deep, thorough edit in U.S. English, combining basic copyediting with line editing because if I see something that needs attention, it’s in my nature to fix it. Other editors may charge separately for these two services, but I like the freedom of an inclusive package, and my clients appreciate the comprehensive scope. All this is explained below, where I lay out the sentence-level particulars I focus on.

  • Correcting punctuation, spelling, grammar, syntax, capitalization, and word usage while preserving the meaning and voice of your original text
  • Eliminating repetition, redundancy, wordiness, and incompleteness
  • Substituting or suggesting weak words or phrases with stronger alternatives
  • Addressing basic point-of-view issues
  • Fixing or indicating flawed logic (a character suddenly has red hair or walked through a locked door)
  • Reading for overall clarity and sense with regard to the target audience
  • Adhering to or imposing a consistent style, and creating a custom style sheet to maintain your preferences
  • Performing light fact-checking to verify content as needed (looking up the spelling of Kathmandu but not checking on how a character would get from there to San Francisco—authors are wholly responsible for facts)
  • Rearranging the order of words or sentences within paragraphs to better convey a point
  • Deleting or querying nonessential elements for better flow
  • Identifying language differences: localizing words not familiar to a U.S. audience (petrol --> gas)
  • Flagging for possible biased or outdated language, as well as cliches

Editorial tasks I do *not* perform

  • Early stages of editing, such as beta reading, evaluations, critiques, or developmental editing. What is developmental editing? "Big picture" stuff: identifying and solving problems with plot, story arc, timelines, characters, etc.; reorganizing whole paragraphs, sections, or chapters; suggesting further topics…yada-yada-yada. All this should be addressed before it gets to me. But I could possibly refer you to another professional!
  • Material that contains very graphic descriptions of violence/torture, especially if it involves children. However, mentioning in the manuscript that such things have occurred is likely fine. If you’re unsure, talk about it in your initial email so we can discuss it.

Still have questions?

Visit my FAQ page, where I also talk about fees.

“Lisa has caught not only typical typos and misspellings, but inconsistent references that would have been embarrassing. She has never tried to rewrite or ‘revoice’ my novels but only to make them clearer and more resonant. Any writer who wants to publish the best version possible of his/her work will be well served.”

Dara Lebrun, author

Photo credit: James Bold on Unsplash