Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions that aren't listed here, please contact me.
Do I get to see the changes that you make?
I work in Word using Track Changes. This handy tool allows me to make the needed corrections, and it shows you every single change I make. So when you open the document, you will see each and every correction, and you get to either accept it or delete it. I can leave you notes along the way as well.
I can work in other formats—just let me know.
Do you change my words or voice?
You've spent ages tweaking and rewording each sentence, paragraph, and chapter. Now you're handing your precious "baby" over to someone you may not even know that well. Eeek! I understand your fears. I've handed my work over countless times, sometimes to people I didn't really care for (thank you, college writing classes) so I know what you're going through.
When I proofread, I fix misspellings, incorrect grammar and punctuation, inconsistencies, and any other errors I come across that don't adhere to industry standards. Sometimes that means changing a word if it is the incorrect word: if you call someone the "president" but later refer to them as the "mayor," or if you switch tenses halfway through.
As for voice, no, I don't change anything that would affect your voice. Mostly because I am not you: I can't replicate your voice, so I don't even try. When longer changes are needed, I simply write you a comment with my concerns or thoughts about the word choice, sentence structure, or paragraph overall. That way you can fix it using your own voice. Sometimes I give sample sentences in my comments to give you guidance or to better explain what I am pointing out.
Why do I need a proofreader?
You write the first draft.
You, hopefully, let it rest for a while before going back to it.
Finally, after a few months or more, you take it out and read it, making notes/edits along the way.
You make the changes.
You read it again, making more changes. (Ideally, you'll go through this process several times before even thinking about showing it to another human being.)
And what happens through all of those read throughs? Your brain reads what should be written, not what is written, especially when it comes to those small, pesky errors. (If you've been working with an editor throughout the process, even they will read what should be there instead of what is there.) Only a fresh pair of eyes can catch those mistakes.
That's what a proofreader is for: to read through your manuscript, searching for those errors you just can't see in your own writing. Guess what . . . your readers will absolutely see them! And errors can discredit you. 😳 That's why you need a proofreader.
Do you edit as well?
Let's talk about editing.
There are different types of editors*:
A Developmental Editor (sometimes called a Structural Editor) is someone who looks at the “big picture” of your story.
A Line Editor (sometimes called a Stylistic Editor) focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader.
A Copy Editor is someone who focuses on word choice, grammar, and punctuation.
And then the proofreader makes the final checks before a manuscript is published.
So, do I edit?
Yes, I can copyedit as I proofread, when requested.
However, if you are looking for an editor, you're probably not ready for me yet.
*If you are unsure, I do offer a sample read through to assess the condition of your manuscript and to give you advice as to which level of editor your manuscript needs.