Copy editing is the last editorial phase in preparing a manuscript for publication; it occurs after content and overall structure are set. Copy editing focuses principally on language and writing, rather than on content, though content may be addressed, especially if the work has not undergone developmental editing. Both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts need copy editing to produce an accurate, polished work that creates a smooth read. Depending on the amount of editorial changes the manuscript requires, copy editing may range from light to heavy. (Very heavy copy editing is sometimes known as substantive editing.)
As your copy editor, I edit your work for clarity, consistency within your premise, style, and narrarive flow. I review and correct or enhance sentence and paragraph structure, word usage, and writing mechanics including grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
In fiction, I will recognize and honor when grammatical rules are broken for effect. If I am uncertain about your intent in any passage, I check with you. Style preferences vary from author to author and from publisher to publisher. An example of style is the punctuation choice an author makes when more than one acceptable variation exists. Whatever stylistic conventions you choose, I will edit for consistency of style throughout the work. If an author plans to submit to a specific publishing house that has an in-house style sheet or an author is writing within a discipline that requires a specific style, such as APA, I will edit in accordance with that publisher’s or discipline's requirements. Otherwise, I copy edit following the widely-accepted Chicago Manual of Style.
I edit electronically in Word. According to your preference, I will submit a clean, ready-to-use edited manuscript or an edited, red-lined manuscript with Word's track changes displayed so that you can review each edit before you accept it. If you are not familiar with track changes, I will provide a brief tutorial.