A manuscript evaluation is a high-level journey through your manuscript. It focuses on four distinct aspects: structure, story, mechanics, and genre.
A structure analysis dives into pacing, character and setting development, diversity, and representation. These aspects are the backbone and foundation of any manuscript. The analysis then moves on to the story and covers such aspects as tension and stakes, internal and external conflict, goals, plot, and perspective. Examining the manuscript’s mechanics focuses on the author’s voice, delivery, and recurring issues. The final stage of an evaluation is to place the manuscript within its intended genre, compare reader expectations, and identify potential comps if needed. Sarah Chauncey wrote an excellent article about what to expect during a manuscript evaluation.
A manuscript evaluation is not a developmental edit because an evaluation only provides an overview of the manuscript, whereas the developmental edit dives head-first into the manuscript’s idea and structure. A few comments and suggestions will be noted within the manuscript, but a manuscript evaluation is a separate document that provides editorial feedback, help, and suggestions.
Manuscript Evaluation - 2 weeks - $350.00
Developmental editing focuses on the big-picture elements of story and structure. For this reason, a complete manuscript is not necessary, though it is highly recommended. Feedback on plot, pacing, character and setting development, diversity and inclusivity, story aspects and structure, authorial voice, delivery, and much more is presented within the manuscript and an external feedback document (average 15-50 pages).
Developmental edits are time-intensive but can reduce the time needed for future revision. If you have not used beta readers, critique partners, or are unsure of structural elements, a developmental edit is the best place to begin the editing process. Harry Bingham wrote a great “should you” article that might help you decide if a developmental edit is best for you.
Developmental Edit - 4 weeks - $.03/word
The line edit is the heart of the editing process. Diving into the manuscript line-by-line, the focus turns to word choice, grammar and punctuation, dialogue, delivery, and reader enjoyment. I make two passes during the line edit. The first is as a reader, making notes along the way of questions, concerns, and emotional responses. The second pass is when I note all suggested edits. All comments and edits are suggestions, and I strive to maintain the author’s voice throughout the process.