Editing Services



I believe editing is essential to good writing. As someone (I think it was Dennis Lee) once said, “You can’t do brain surgery on yourself.” After nearly 25 years writing and publishing books, and teaching creative writing internationally, I now provide editing services to a few writers at a time.

I focus on fiction and memoir, and some non-fiction if the subject is in my wheelhouse.

If you are interested, here are the details:

The three levels of editing are done independently because they are three distinct aspects of editing. Each area requires a unique focus.

All work is billed and to be paid in advance.

Coaching/consulting                                $65(US)/hour
Developmental (story-level) editing     $.035(US)/word
Line editing                                                $.045(US)/word


Discussions of publishing as well as writing goals, direction of the work, agents, writer’s block, inspiration, and the general craft of writing.

Developmental (story-level) editing:

  • Character arc: Goals, motivations, and conflict
  • Effective dialogue
  • Narrative arc: Beginnings, middles, and ends
  • Narrative style: Viewpoint, tense, voice, and distance
  • Plot and subplot analysis
  • Problematic representation, stereotyping, and othering
  • Story structure and pacing
  • Themes: the main ideas that connect the components of the story
  • World-building: creating engaging settings
  • A final phone/video 1 hour maximum conversation about the edits at the writer’s request

Copyediting (Sentence-level):

  • Character-trait consistency
  • Cliché and awkward metaphor
  • Dialogue expression: style, tagging, and punctuation
  • Effectiveness of sentence-level narration
  • Letter, word, line, and paragraph spacing
  • Narrative style: Consistency of viewpoint, tense, voice
  • Effectiveness of narrative distance
  • Pace and flow: Special attention paid to repetition and overwriting
  • Problematic representation, stereotyping, and othering
  • Spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, hyphenation, and capitalization
  • Standard document formatting using Word’s styles palette: indentation, paragraph style, section breaks
  • Told versus shown prose
  • A final phone/video 1 hour maximum conversation about the edits at the writer’s request

This means:

  • If you would like to talk about your career, the writing life, and how to approach and navigate the publishing industry (agent, publishers, book tours, marketing and publicity, etc.), we would work under the Coaching/Consulting framework at $65/hour, either through phone/video calls or via email.
  • If you would like me to provide a Developmental/Story Level edit, I would do that separately, at the above rate.
  • Or, if you prefer, I could do a Copyedit/Sentence level edit, providing feedback on what’s listed above under that heading, but NOT what’s listed under the Developmental/Story level edit heading.

In other words, if I’m doing a Developmental Edit, I will provide you with a written summary of my impressions of the work, focusing on the areas noted above. I will also mark in the text any pertinent suggestions for future revision. If I’m doing only a Copyedit, I will send a shorter summary, but most of the work will be noted in the text, and it will not cover those things noted under the Developmental Edit.

Please note I do not proofread. Although I will check for spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, hyphenation, and capitalization, and I will try my best to catch any errors in the text, proofreading takes a very particular set of skills at catching typos that I simply don’t have. Any work should be proofread for typos by the author before submitting to agents or publishers.

Please contact me at Lauren[@]LaurenBDavis.com if you’re interested.