The Fiction Editor

© 2009-2015 A Novel Edit

Terms of Service.
About Me.

Your words,

  your story,

    your voice...

      polished for


A Novel Edit
A Novel Edit




Back up your manuscripts on multiple media.

Even if you think it’s not necessary, run
Spell Check.

Read a grammar or style book once a year.

Join a writer’s group.

Join a critique group.

Learn to self-edit by practicing on published books (or trade manuscripts with a fellow writer).

Don’t edit forever–submit your manuscript.

Edit & rewrite–no one writes a perfect novel as a first draft.

Read books in your genre.

Read books outside your genre.

Experiment.  Change the ending.  Change your antagonist.  Change your writing location.




Frequently Asked Questions



Can you guarantee I’ll get a contract after this edit?


No, I cannot.  And I recommend that you run from anyone who offers you such a guarantee.  No freelance editor can make that promise and most would never even hint that they could.  You will receive what I’ve outlined on this site–a substantive edit with suggestions for basic and complex story elements.


Must I follow everything you suggest?


Consider the suggestions and then take what works for you.  My intention is to strengthen your story using your voice.  If you feel a suggestion doesn’t mesh with your style, ignore or adapt it.


How do I send my manuscript for a quote or sample edit?  For a submission?


For a quote or sample edit.  When you are ready to send your manuscript for editing, submit here.


Where do I get a submission #?


When you submit a manuscript for a quote or sample edit, you’ll receive a submission number for reference.


What forms of payment do you accept?


You can pay by check or PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to use PayPal (PayPal allows you to pay securely with a credit card).


For how long is a price quote valid?


The price will be honored for thirty days from date of the quote, even if prices change.  Dates are valid until the day specified in the confirmation email.


Can I get on your schedule ahead of time?


Yes, up to 3 months in advance if the date is available.  A non-refundable $100 deposit will secure your date.  Deposit will be credited toward the amount due if payment is made by the date we agree upon to begin your edit.  If full payment is not made by that date, the deposit is forfeit and I am free to schedule another edit in your slot.


Why do I send the chapter with page 200?


I ask that you send the chapter with page 200 because it’s in the meat of the story. A sample from the center of the manuscript can give me a good picture of the kinds of issues I’ll need to address in your story.


When is payment due?


Full payment is due for the First Thirty Pages before I begin your edit. Half the fee for a Full Edit is due before I begin your edit. The balance is due before I return the edited manuscript to you.


Can I pay for a rush edit, to get my manuscript back overnight?


A substantive edit takes hours, certainly more than 20 and often more than 50-70.  I cannot guarantee a rush edit.

Are your edits tough on the ego?


They can be.  No writer likes thinking his work isn’t perfect.  But the truth is that we all need an impartial, outside eye to perfect our work.  My goal is to make your story the best it can be in terms of both technical and story elements.  Suggestions are made solely to polish the manuscript.


Would you decline an edit?


I would and I have. If I feel your work doesn’t need a substantive edit–if it’s ready for submission to agent or publisher–I’ll tell you so.  If your manuscript isn’t ready for an edit–if it needs extensive re-writing on your part–I’ll tell you that as well.  I may suggest a writing course or that you join a writer’s group.


Is there a refund if I disagree with your edit?


There are no refunds.  Payment constitutes a contract to edit the manuscript.


How long does a full edit take?


I allow three weeks for a full-length novel of 70,000-90,000 words. Projected finish date will be provided by email at time of purchase.


Will there be corrections on every page?


I don’t limit the number of corrections/suggestions/recommendations per page.  If I see a way to improve the text, I will tell you.  I find that most manuscripts have many more corrections on early pages than in the latter pages–if pages are unmarked, they are typically in the final third of the story.


Why different prices?


Some manuscripts need more extensive editing, some less.  Newer writers can expect to pay the higher per-word fee.  Experienced authors–who don’t require as many detailed suggestions–can expect to pay the lower fee.


You are a writer too–will my stories/words/plots be safe with you?


As do most writers, I have more than enough plots of my own.  I will not be mining your manuscript for ideas or phrases.


Why don’t you edit short stories or non-fiction?


I prefer the longer story arcs in novellas and novels to the quick resolutions of short stories.  My editing strengths play well to the longer format.  And I prefer fiction to non-fiction, though I was a tech writer for a software company.  Again, I find my strengths work best with fiction.


If I like your suggestion, can I use your words?


Yes, absolutely.  This is no boilerplate edit.  Anything I suggest is for your story alone and you can use the words or phrases any way you choose.


Do you have a favorite genre?


For my pleasure reading, I especially enjoy adventure, suspense/thriller, romance, and mystery.


Can you help with my query letter?


Yes.  Include your query with your full manuscript submission and I’ll make suggestions after I’ve read your manuscript.


Can you write my synopsis?  Will you co-write my book?


I’m not a ghostwriter nor do I co-write fiction.


Do you offer a general manuscript critique without the detailed suggestions?


Being thorough with the details is one of my strengths.  A critique without detailed suggestions would prevent me from giving the best and most complete service for your manuscript.


Is a contract necessary?


So we are in agreement about dates, fees, and responsibilities–yes.


What about mentoring?


I do mentor beginning writers. Fees and topics are arranged on a per-case basis.







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