Note: I inexplicably default to British English, but I will edit for whatever form of English you use.
I accept fiction, non-fiction, poetry, academic papers, and most other forms of writing (e.g. résumés, cover letters, blog posts, news articles).
This is your standard grammar, spelling, and punctuation check—the final step before you send your manuscript out, though if I feel it requires further evaluation, I will make that recommendation. For technical, legal, or medical papers, this is likely what you'll receive from me unless you're writing on a topic with which I am familiar.
copy & line editing
Combining these forms of editing goes beyond basic grammar and syntax to address structure, flow, voice, pacing, readability, etc. I'll examine your writing style, the presentation of [creative] content, and your use of language, pinpointing issues like overused words, confusing narrative tangents, tonal shifts, and more.
I will take your manuscript and walk you through it from the ground up, developing it into a coherent, readable work. I'll look at character development and consistency; narrative voice; plot arcs and development; worldbuilding (in fiction); and the story as a whole. I will provide draft language, suggest new ideas where relevant, and always explain why something in your manuscript has been changed or deleted. Odds are high that I will note glaring issues in grammar and syntax, but that is not the focus of this level of editing.
Sometimes, the quick follow-up questions (e.g. "you recommended x or y; is one preferred over the other?") don't quite cover all the bases. If you've got a tricky section or want to discuss a set of changes in-depth, or just want a sounding board for revisions, we can set up a time to chat—instant messaging of some sort is the preferred method of most clients, but phone and email are also available*.
This is also an option if you have the beginnings of an idea and are interested in working with me to develop it from scratch—plot, worldbuilding, structure, etc. This is typically easier to do with existing clients, so that I know your writing style, but that isn't a requirement.
*If you are local to the DC Metro area, I will accept in-person consultations—at coffeeshops, bookstores, libraries, or other public venues. I do not accept or offer house calls.
I am open to inquiries regarding audio/video transcription, research & fact-checking, and ghostwriting. I accept a limited number of such commissions: please feel free to ask about availability and request a quote through the commissions page.
Credentials and Miscellaneous Knowledge
*Degrees were obtained under my legal name, not my penname. If you'd like to verify them, please contact me.
University of Rochester
B.A. Psychology; English Literature, cum laude w/ distinction
Minor: Philosophy (Ethics)
(Dead languages are also a hobby—I wrote my undergrad thesis on Old English and Tolkien, so take that for what you will)
M.A. Security Studies (Intelligence)
I only accept commissions in English, but I can negotiate in French if you'll pardon an inevitable grammar mistake, and I can get your characters through common phrases in multiple languages with varying levels of fluency. If this is relevant to you, ask!
Things I have spent way too much time doing and/or studying
I do not need to have in-depth knowledge of the topic(s) in your manuscript, but I am available for additional input in any of the following areas. Contact me regarding the scope of a topic in your questions or the manuscript, and I'll let you know if I can address it; if I can't, referrals to other people or sources are free.
- equestrian sports & horsemanship
- law enforcement
- foreign affairs, intelligence, & defence (US & international)
- armed & unarmed combat
- figure skating
- gemstone & jewellery evaluation