Frequently Asked Questions

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What genres do you edit?

Our content editors focus the most on speculative fiction: fantasy, science fiction, supernatural horror, and related genres. However, they’ve edited a variety of genres, and they’ll accept any kind of fiction for editing. If you order a content edit for a genre they’re less familiar with, they may not know the conventions of that genre. However, their primary focus during any content edit is universal storytelling principles. Genre isn’t as important to stories as many people think.

Our copy editors work on all genres, fiction and non-fiction.

Do you edit scripts or other non-book media?

One of our content editors, Oren, has experience with a wide variety of media, including:

  • Graphic novel and comic scripts
  • Stage, screen, and audio plays
  • Roleplaying systems and scenarios

Along with novels, short stories, and outlines, we’re happy to accept any of these formats for content editing.

Can I get a critique like you did for City of Bones, Sword of Shannara, Eragon, etc?

We’re happy you like our critiques! However, they are intended to benefit an outside audience, not the writer themself. If you really want one, we’ll take your money, but you’d be better served with a content edit. It gives the most bang for your buck, and it prevents you from missing the forest for the trees.

Critiques are actually quite time consuming (otherwise we’d put them on the blog more often). They are pricier per word than a content edit. We cannot give them away for free.

Can I get a content edit on just the first chapter or two of my novel?

Only if that’s all you’ve written so far. Stories must be examined holistically. A great first chapter might be the wrong first chapter for the story you’re writing. However, you can save money by submitting just the beginning of your work in full and a summary of the rest. If your work isn’t complete, we’ll give you directions for keeping your ending on track.

Can I get a content edit before I start my first draft?

We’re happy to look over outlines. Just make sure that:

  • You’re sending a single, comprehensive outline with all major plot points included.
  • The outline focuses on details that would be written in a draft, such as the events that occur and how the point of view character feels. These details should be in the same order you’re planning to write them. If you have a flashback, put those backstory events where the flashback will be.
  • Please leave out any notes about your goals or intent, such as your chosen theme or message. We’ll ask you about that after we look at your outline.

View some examples of outlines.

We no longer work with writers before they have an outline. At such an early stage, the story is too nebulous.

Will you be making changes directly to my work?

Our content editors do not touch your work. They read it, discuss it with you, and deliver a separate, written report.

Our copy editors make changes directly to your piece. All changes are tracked, so you can review what they’ve done and roll back any changes you aren’t comfortable with.

What do your written recommendations look like?

Recommendations from our content editors usually run between 2,000 and 4,000 words, depending on the length and roughness of the story. Often, our report is divided between general aspects of the story such as plot, characters, and setting. In each section, we describe issues we see in the work and then offer suggestions for addressing it.

Example

I really liked the way the protagonist gets revenge on their arch nemesis at the end, it ties the story together well. There is one problem holding it back: the number of innocent bystanders who will be killed when the villain’s ship crashes. You’ve shown the protagonist has a heart of gold, so readers may not believe that your hero would let so many people to die. If readers do believe it, they might not like your protagonist anymore, which will damage the ending. A couple suggestions:

  • You could show that the civilians evacuated earlier when the villain’s lieutenant switched sides. The lieutenant had a guilty conscience, so that’s exactly the sort of good deed they’d go for.
  • The protagonist could stay after killing the villain to safely land the ship. It would be part of the falling action, and it would show how much the protagonist cares about others.

What if I’m not sure what I need?

Ask yourself this question: would you be willing to make significant revisions to your story if that would make it a lot more popular? If your answers is “yes,” get a content edit.

If you don’t want to revise your work or you only want your editor to work on your piece at the sentence level, you’re looking at a copy edit.

If you’re still unsure what to get, we recommend a content edit. It’s always good practice to get a content edit before you get a copy edit.

Ready for the Next Step?

Order Content Editingor  Request a Copy Editing Quote