Everyone can type, but not everyone can write. That's where I come in.

Most people are familiar with blank page syndrome: you know what you want to say but can't find the right words. The other side of the coin is finding plenty of words, but knowing they're in the wrong order. Whatever's preventing you from being ready to publish, I can help.

Copy editing

I'll take your raw material - anything from a web page to an epic novel - and ensure that it's ready to go, whether it's a book, newspaper feature, website, ad or flyer. Before your work goes public I'll check that it's accurate, logical and free of errors, omissions, inconsistencies and repetitions. Cleaning up the copy, I'll pick up spelling, grammatical and stylistic mistakes, ambiguities and anomalies and structural issues. I'll also fix spacing and fonts and will usually identify all sorts of problems you hadn't considered for a moment.

Do your chapter titles tie in with the contents list? Are illustrations and captions in the right places and do you have copyright? Does the narrative or argument make sense to your readers? Are your sentences too long? Do you overuse italic, bold, capitals, exclamation marks and the passive voice? I'll also query or check doubtful facts and weak arguments, and might even mention that one of your characters changes their eye colour on page 74. I could go on....

 

Proofreading

I was trained, many years ago, by a died-in-the-wool, eagle-eyed and irascible proofreader in a major publishing house, who used Fowler's Usage and Abusage as a bible. As a result, I can spot a typo or literal from a mile away. It's irritating for me, but good for my clients.

Lots of people assume that proofing should be carried out early in the writing process, at first draft stage. Big mistake. By the time inevitable changes have been made along the line, your copy might be so different that you'll have to have it read through again. Add why pay twice? Proofreading should take place at the very end of your writing, after the copy editing, and when you're 99% sure you're ready to publish or send it to a literary agent. Basically, I'll check your work with a fine-tooth comb for grammar, spelling, punctuation and missing words. Being me, I'm likely to make comments about style too, where necessary, but it'll be up to you as to whether I make changes, because that takes more time and will cost a little more.