What kind of editing is right for your project?

I love a good cocktail. I'm very picky about them, though. Making a truly great cocktail requires a balance of elements: quality ingredients, perfectly executed chilling, and a mixing method to enhance, not muddy, the flavours. Then, I want to sip the cocktail in an environment to match my mood.

Very picky. 

I have a similar view of editing: the editing approach always needs to be thoughtful, thorough and customized to the content. 

An editor can be brought in at any point in a writing project, big or small. My goal as an editor is to add a few ingredients to enhance a text's best qualities, correct technical flaws and smooth any harsh edges so the final product is tantalizing. 

I offer five editing approaches to suit projects of different sizes, from the developmental stage, to rough drafts, to the nearly-done draft:

Developmental editing is the recipe you follow to create the cocktail that is your manuscript. It covers the brainstorming, outlining and planning, ideally, before a text is written. This saves rewriting, backtracking and false starts later in the project.

Structural editing is the vessel you choose to serve your cocktail in. Does your cocktail need a chilled, stemmed coupe or a warmed mug? Structural editing considers the drafted text as a whole, revising sections, paragraphs and sentences to ensure logical, entertaining flow.

Stylistic editing is rather like the spirits, bitters, fruits and syrups you choose for your drink. They must be excellent on their own and complement each other, while being appropriate to the final cocktail, too. Stylistic editing revises language to ensure the text is written appropriately for the audience, purpose and medium, while being delightful to read. Stylistic editing is the difference between content that is "good enough" to get your message across and writing that captures your audience and keeps them coming back.

Copy editing is the overt or subtle difference between the feature spirit you choose for your cocktail. Sometimes the choice is obvious (gin or mezcal?). Other times it's more subtle (potato vodka or corn vodka?). Copy editing ensures the text’s spelling, grammar, punctuation and word usage are correct according to the rules of our beloved English language and in line with the project’s style guide. Compared to stylistic editing, good old copy editing is a more technical approach that doesn't get flowery about your words.

Proofreading is the bourbon-soaked cherry on a pick, resting atop your cocktail. It's the final editing step after layout and design and often concerns both text and visual elements before the text is published into the world. 

Book a call with me to get a free custom quote and I will recommend what editing approach seems most appropriate for your project.