Structural editing helps you understand your work’s bigger picture.
A structural edit (also known as substantive edit) will identify and analyse broad story elements, such as theme, consistency, narrative arc and voice in your memoir, business book, novel, short story, essay or short-story collection.
In business and non-fiction writing, structural editors look at broader issues, such as organisation of information, missing elements and clarity of argument. In fiction and creative non-fiction, structural editors appraise and advise on writing craft, such as character, plot, setting and scenes.
First noting the strengths, editors mostly focus on areas of improvement to enhance your story. We ask questions about believability, connections and consistencies.
A structural edit is useful early in the drafting process. Areas to work on in terms of structure are usually identified during a manuscript appraisal.
A manuscript appraisal is based on a thorough reading of your full fiction or non-fiction manuscript.
My appraisals are extensive, not mere manuscript assessments with no follow-up. A 40-minute phone conversation is included in the cost of the appraisal, scheduled two weeks after you receive your report so that you have time to digest and pose clarifying questions.
The detailed written report includes a summary of the work’s strengths and areas to improve, as well as in-situ examples of these in the author’s work. I also include suggestions for possible steps during the next draft. If required, we can develop your work further with story coaching.
Know your work is ready for a manuscript appraisal? Read these submission guidelines, then submit via email.
If you’re not sure if the work is ready...
Also known as line-by-line editing, copy editing makes sure you're saying what you think you're saying in the way you want to say it. (Handy stuff!)
Copy editing comes after structural editing. (It’s no use getting the words and sentences all lined up if you don’t have the overall narrative sorted.) A manuscript appraisal will identify the main areas to improve your work line-by-line.
Copy editors ask questions of the author to ensure that each word, sentence and paragraph is expressed as clearly as possible. Among other things, experienced copy editors ask:
Can this sentence be expressed more concisely?
Will the intended audience engage with these words?
Does the reader have all that they need?
Could the voice be more consistent here or here or here?
What do you mean when you say X or Y or Z?
Short critiques are a quick way for writers to understand their strengths and areas for improvement when it comes to expression, grammar and style.
It’s a nit-picky look at a short piece of your writing, which appraises, among other things, how you could write more clearly or consistently, strengthen your voice or understand what you can do improve the pace of your prose.
Early-career or emerging writers can use this short-critique service as often as they like, each time building on past learning to improve their writing and their understanding of how to craft a story. If this sounds useful, check out our story-coaching service that supports all writers at all stages to improve their work at a pace that suits them.
Every piece of writing is different so we quote according to the sample you send. Just a page can be helpful, but the number of words you send for appraisal depends on your interest, budget and where you’re up to in your project. This service is great for people new to the game and/or on a budget.
Interested? Check out our submission requirements here.
My role is to help you tell the best story you can. No matter which stage of the writing process you find yourself in, I offer professional guidance about how to move closer to your writing goal.
Contact me to find out how.