Developmental Editing

Available Return Dates

  • September 7th, Novel Length Projects (3)
  • September 7th, Short Length Projects (5)
  • October 7th, Novel Length Projects (1)
  • October 7th, Short Length Projects (2)
  • November 7th, Novel Length Projects (3)
  • November 7th, Short Length Projects (5)
  • Future Dates Tentatively Open

Mission Statement

My motto is this: keep moving forward. As an editor, my #1 goal is to make your book the best it can be… and my #2 goal is to help you grow as an author. Taking a book from rough draft to final version is a transformative process not only for the story itself, but for the person who created it. It is a journey of tough love, and my editing style recognizes that. While I do aim to address the grammar, structure, and story of your book, I also look deeper, to gauge what you as an author could most benefit from learning. In short, I dole out the constructive criticism your mom’s afraid to give you. 

Therefore, keep in mind that my criticism – though always meant to be constructive – is also, on occasion, very frank (it’s in the name!)I love to tell you what I like as well as what I don’t like, but my feedback is generally straightforward and blunt, and it is not for everyone. But if you work with me, you will come out the other end a new and better author; and not only this book, but all your future books, will benefit from that.

Services

All of these services can be performed a la carte, should you need only part of your manuscript reviewed or a hybrid of multiple services. Services are prepaid via PayPal. All payments and deposits are FULLY REFUNDABLE up until the paid work is completed–no questions asked.

Query Critiques: $5 per pass. Turnaround may be faster than the end of the month.

Synopsis Critiques: $10 per pass. Returned by the end of the month.

Short Story Editing: $0.009 per word (about $9 per 1000 words). Includes line edits and developmental analysis. Returned by the end of the month.

Developmental Analysis: You will receive a Developmental Analysis on the work, but no direct comments or changes to the work itself. A Developmental Analysis covers any noticeable issues with the work, from plot structure to character development to “show versus tell,” all the way down to any obvious grammar problems.  I leave no stone unturned, and my overviews often come back with over 30 pages of feedback, which includes both explanations of the issues found, and options for fixing them. This service includes a paragraph or less of overall comments on each chapter. An hour’s time of consultation–whether over various emails or a single chat–is included with ALL developmental analyses. This service is recommended for less-polished drafts, for first-time authors, or for writers who have never had a significant critique partner before. If you aren’t sure where you stand, a developmental analysis is always a good choice. This service is $0.004 per word (about $4 per 1000 words). Returned by the end of the month.

Deluxe Developmental Analysis (Recommended):  You will receive a Developmental Analysis, plus the following additional services: tracked cuts, end-of-chapter comments, and inline developmental comments. This service does not include direct changes to the text (aside from some cuts), but will post a note for developmental problems that can include plot holes, reader responses, and general confusion, allowing for a more focused revision. This is recommended for: polished drafts that have seen beta feedback on the same level as the author; as a budget version of a line edit; or for books that are too long and need a focus on cutting word count. This service is $0.006 per word (about $6 per 1000 words). Returned by the end of the month.

Line Edit: (Please note that I am currently limiting my line-editing projects for full-sized manuscripts to select returning clients only. Please write for more information.) This includes direct line edits (in the form of tracked changes and comments). This means different things depending on the state of the manuscript and the writing style of the author, but it can include any of the following: direct rearrangement of text, suggested inputs for transitions and character actions, line-by-line notes and feedback, suggested changes for flow and other writing elements, developmental commentary, unrealistic dialogue, and so on. This service is not for the faint of heart. It is recommended for manuscripts intended for indie or self-publishing, or for the first few chapters of a manuscript considered ready for querying. The cost is $0.009 per word (about $9 per 1000 words). Returned by the end of the month. Please note that this service no longer includes a Developmental Analysis, though it will still include developmental commentary within the text. The reason for this change is that you should not be seeking a line edit on a piece to which you are willing to make sweeping structural changes. However, you can add a Developmental Analysis for $55.

Copy Edit: This includes direct edits for grammar, spelling, and punctuation, in preparation for the manuscript being published. I make little to no commentary on the subject matter itself. The cost is typically $0.009 per word (about $9 per 1000 words), although I may charge more if the original work is in especially rough shape. You can send a sample to be certain. Returned by the end of the month.

Self-Publication Formatting. I will format your book for Amazon print-on-demand and eBook upload to the usual platforms for $50 per book ($40 if you only need print or eBook). This includes up to 3 minor revisions. Choose from various styles, with chapter and line break icon options available. Returned by the end of the month.

Packages

Query Package: Ready to query? I’ll line edit the query, synopsis, and first 10,000 words (about 25 pages) for $95. This includes a Developmental Analysis.

Doubt Package: Not sure what service you want? I recommend a 20,000-word submission, with the following: your first 5,000 words line edited, followed by the next  5,000 words as a Deluxe, and the remaining 10,000 words returned with the Developmental Analysis (Basic) only. (The Developmental Analysis will cover the entire submission, including the line edit portion.) Upon receipt, you can decide which service you might like to progress with, if at all. The full cost is $115 for this package, plus an optional and refundable $25 to reserve a time slot for the full manuscript afterward. Because all my prices are a la carte, you can replace any amount of words with any of the above services, given a price adjustment. Just ask.

“Ultimate Package”: My prices are a la carte and dependent on word count. However, my suggested all-in-one option is to purchase the following: for the first draft you send me, I’d recommend a Line Edit on your first 4000 words and a Developmental Analysis on the rest of the book. Then, on draft two, I would recommend a Line Edit on your first 10,000 words, and a Deluxe Analysis on the remainder.

Success Stories

These are listed in order of occurrence, give or take. See my testimonials here.

♥ Congratulations Kimberly Christensen! ♥
After a query package, her book got multiple full requests!

♥ Congratulations to @hemunayak711! ♥
After a 10,000-word line edit, his book got an agent!

♥ Congratulations to Alex Austin! ♥
After a 30,000-word line edit/review combo, his book got an agent!

♥ Congratulations to @Willie_Handler! ♥
After a full-MS line edit, his book got a contract with Kyanite Publishing!

♥ Congratulations to @KayAyDowling! ♥
After a first 50-page edit, her book got an agent!

♥ Congratulations to @janicefosse! ♥
After a full novel edit, her book got an agent!

♥ Congratulations to @DaveWickenden! ♥
After a full novel edit, his book HOMEGROWN got signed and published with Crave Press! Out now!

♥ Congratulations to @AmyKitcher! ♥
After a first chapter edit, her book got a full manuscript request from an agent!

♥ Congratulations to @christopheresl2! ♥
After a query pass, his book got a full manuscript request from an agent!

♥ Congratulations to Ryan Devoe! ♥
After a 4,000 word line edit, he revamped his book and made top 20 of 1200 at a the Angry Robots contest!

♥ Congratulations to @DMombauer! ♥
After a short story line edit, his story was published in an anthology!

♥ Congratulations to @hofsetzdotcom! ♥
After a full-MS line edit, his book got a contract with The Wild Rose Press!

♥ Congratulations to Stephen B. King | @StephenBKing1! ♥
After a full-MS line edit, he signed a TRILOGY deal with The Wild Rose Press… with competing offers!
After a first chapter revision, his book THIRTY-THREE DAYS signed with The Wild Rose Press! It’s now nominated for the 2019 RONE award!

♥ Congratulations to @KarenYBynum! ♥
After a query critique, she got accepted into Sun Vs. Snow 2018 and got 5 full requests and 2 partials!

…and you could be next!

Qualifications

  • Publications and accolades
  • Internship with Speilburg Literary Agency
  • Bachelor’s degree (with honors) in the English Language from Michigan State University
    • Concentration in Creative Writing
  • Judge for SweekStars in their short story division 2018-2019
  • Owner of the @writevent Twitter account (24k+ curated author/reader followers)
  • Minor publications and accolades
    • Winner: Reedsy Short Story Contest
    • x2 First Place: Life of Writers Short Story Contest
    • Shortlisted: Center Field of Gravity (2020)
    • Second Place: Life of Writers Short Story Contest
    • Honorable Mention: Speculative Literature Foundation’s 2017 Working Class Writer’s Grant
    • Top 25: Ecostory Green Stories Contest 2018
    • Shortlisted: James White Award 2019 (Longlisted in 2018)
    • Invited to present at the Utah League of Writers Conference
    • Seven full personal manuscript requests from agents 
    • Finalist in Pitch Madness 2017
  • Procedural writing for Underground Printing
  • Best Writing Website awards from:
    • Reedsy
    • The Write Life
    • Booksie

Why I’m Cheaper

Nowadays, you could end up paying well over $2,000 for a full-book edit. That’s not the case with me. So what’s the catch?

For one, I believe that having a limited budget shouldn’t mean you can’t become a better writer. It’s the whole reason I started Free Writing Events, and that philosophy carries over into my editing. I grew up eating ramen; I know how it is.

Genres

I’m happy to critique queries, novels, and stories in most genres or age categories, but I have the most experience with speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, etc.) in the YA and Adult genres. I am open to erotica, LGBT+, 420, and most other touchy subjects, as long as they are not an attack on someone else. I am not qualified to edit straight nonfiction (creative nonfiction, such as memoir, is fine), Westerns, screenplays, or picture books. This limitation includes queries.

My Process

Queries. I saw hundreds of queries during my agency internship, and I know what makes them stink. I can take your rough or uncertain query and pit it against publishing norms. I edit queries for clarity, interest, brevity, and construction. And I’ve been accredited for good query work by @TheBookDoctors, so I know what I’m doing.

Pages. I do it as it comes: plot, voice, spelling, grammar, setting, the works (with an especially careful focus on the first pages of a book). However, if your pages have glaring problems, I may hone in on those and be a bit more loose with the rest. After all, the bigger the change, the less likely that all of your text will remain (whenever you end up deleting a line, any comments on it are negated). I hope to strike a balance: to give you enough to crank out a stellar revision, but not so much as to be overwhelming or ultimately useless.

Developmental. When you purchase a developmental service from me, it includes the ability to write me “after the edit” and bounce ideas off me. I become your CP. Whatever isn’t working, I’m there to conversationally consider ways to work out your issues. It comes with the territory, and is totally indefinite – although the longer you ask me questions, the longer responses might take. Just FYI. I’m not a god.

Synopses. I look for adherence to norms, word count, cutting opportunities, clarity, agency, and emotional arc. In general I want to help you formulate a clear, interesting, and character-driven summary of your work that fits within an acceptable word count. See this post by Susan Dennard  for my favorite take on writing synopses.

Let’s Do This!

Please reach out at micaskole |-at-| gmail to discuss your project!