Line Editing

Editing and stylizing existing material to ensure a compelling story, a solid structure and a distinct, engaging tone and voice.

I first meet with the writer or client to discuss where s/he’s at with the material, their self-assessment (based on my questions), and what they would like to accomplish by working with me. Different clients look for different things, but often there are common themes such as:
  • “Make it sound smarter.” (This is where I enhance the credibility through research or supporting facts/stats.)
  • “I want to sound more like…” – examples: Rolling Stone magazine, The Wall Street Journal, more conversational
  • “This is a boring topic, make it sexy.”
  • “It seems long and says the same thing over and over.”
  • “Can you just make it better?” (Hint: the answer is always yes.)

I do an in-depth review of the material, making page-by-page notes from which the writer can further develop the material. These notes serve as the writer’s roadmap for further development.

Delivery includes my assessment of where the material is at and what is needed, to advance development. The client reviews the material.

After the client’s review, we meet to walk through my notes and questions and so that I can address the writer’s questions. Also on the agenda is the next steps and blueprint to continue development.

Prefer to stick to the bigger picture? Story Editing may be for you.

Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all in my process. Material that is 10,000 words or generally requires more passes than a shorter research piece of article. Some clients want to hand over material and not read it again until I bless it as ready for publishing. In other situations, we take a much more collaborative approach, and talk daily about progress, questions and ideas. I will meet you where you’re at and take the route that is most comfortable.

Get the ball rolling