You’ve spent a lot of time in the company of your writing and know it inside out. But will your readers understand what you mean, or might they be confused? I’ll highlight plot or narrative inconsistencies and clarify any ambiguous phrasing. I’ll also tighten your prose and improve pace by eliminating redundant language and repetition. And I’ll make sure your readers aren’t distracted by inaccurate facts or awkward syntax.

Put simply, line editing – also known as stylistic editing – focuses on improving your writing by ensuring that your writing is artful in the way that it flows, and correct and consistent in the way that it’s presented. Copy-editing aims to correct the writing by making sentences and paragraphs clear in meaning and consistent in style.

I offer a combination of line and copy-editing, balanced according to the individual needs of the text. If your budget only allows for one editing process, my advice would be to make it this one.

As well as checking for grammar, spelling and punctuation, I’ll focus on areas such as:

  • improving style and flow
  • avoiding repetition, ambiguity and awkward syntax
  • character and plot inconsistencies
  • point of view and narrative voice inconsistencies
  • avoiding crutch words and redundant language
  • consistency of tense and detail
  • loose ends and timing issues
  • dialogue, beats and tagging
  • showing and telling
  • appropriate choice of language for your audience
  • avoiding lazy metaphors and clichés
  • checking for accuracy and correcting basic factual errors
  • flagging up potential legal and sensitivity issues (but it will be your responsibility to check and organise if permissions are needed)
  • adhering to your chosen style guide,whether that be the Chicago Manual of Style, New Oxford Style Manual or your own personal choice
  • creating a personalised style sheet

 

How it works

For line and copy-editing, I use Word Track Changes. You’ll receive your work clearly marked up with my suggestions, corrections and queries, which you are free to accept or reject – this way, you can see exactly what I’ve done.

Where applicable, you’ll also get a personalised editorial style sheet which keeps track of style preferences, characters, timelines and settings.

If you’re not familiar with Track Changes or other useful Word tools such as Styles, just let me know and I’ll provide you with some clear and helpful resources.

Sample edit

If you’d like me to edit a sample of your writing so that you can decide if I’m the right fit for you, then I’d be happy to do so. It’s also a good way to establish the foundations of our working relationship and ensure that your expectations are being met. A sample edit of approximately 1,000 words will cost 35€. If you decide to go ahead, then I’ll deduct this fee from your first invoice.

Prices

Line and copy-editing prices start at 13€ per 1,000 words, depending on length, complexity and the level of editing required, and include two passes. Projects with a word count below 5,000 will be charged at an hourly rate of 35€.

If the total fee is more than 200€, or to reserve a slot in advance, a deposit of 50% is required with the balance due on completion. Otherwise, payment is due in advance unless previously agreed. The minimum charge is 35€.

If your work is urgent and requires me to work unsociable hours – early mornings, evenings or weekends – then I can be flexible but my rates will be higher accordingly.

I’m a Spanish resident and registered as autónomo. My fees are in euros and include IVA (Spanish VAT) at 21%. Payment is accepted via bank transfer or alternative (such as TransferWise or CurrencyFair) to my Spanish bank account.

‘I chose Nicky to do a developmental edit of my manuscript on the basis of her qualifications and clear website. As this is my first novel, I was unsure about what to expect. I shouldn’t have been worried. Nicky went the extra mile to thoroughly read my nearly 100K novel. She picked apart my work, breaking it down to see how the elements worked, and then brought them back together to assess the whole. The process and outcome were extremely informative: she had spot-on observations and comments, summarised themes and storylines so clearly, and more than that, she suggested something central about the story which had not occurred to me. This was an investment I’m glad I made and would engage Nicky’s services again without hesitation.’

Collette Ridley Fard

Author, Running Back

‘Nicky stepped in as my developmental editor in the middle of my mystery series. If I weren't already committed to my other editor, I would definitely hire Nicky for the rest of the series. She juggled the big-picture story and red-herring details with skill and grace. Her comments were precise, constructive, and encouraging. Nicky's insights into my characters were so spot on that I laughed out loud when I read her memos! I recommend her without hesitation to anyone who wants a full manuscript assessment and edit.’

Rose Donovan

Author, The Mystery of Ruby’s Stiletto (Ruby Dove Mysteries Book 4)

‘Nicky’s editorial report on my novel’s manuscript was impressive; her comments were extensive, detailed and concise, while proposing practical solutions to various issues. She is meticulous, professional and caring. I can’t recommend Nicky’s services highly enough.’

Ioannis Sideris

Author, A Fall in Paris

‘My second novel, Rodanthe's Gift, is historical fiction based in Greece during Ottoman oppression. As a sequel to Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa, it develops three characters I came to know and love, despite their flaws. After working on the new story for over two years, self-doubt held me back from completion. Nicky used a questionnaire to understand my aims and concerns and then provided clear and logical analysis to underpin her constructive feedback with welcome suggestions for reworking. Thanks to Nicky's objective appraisal I gained confidence and motivation to continue. Once completed, Nicky conducted the line/copy-edit within agreed timescales, ensuring clarity and mutual understanding with a style sheet. This led to a thorough, empathetic and collaborative editing experience that I look forward to repeating.’

Yvonne Payne

Author, Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa; Rodanthe's Gift

‘I have now published two books which, without Nicky’s skilful intervention, I know would still be resting in the back of my hard drive. When we first started working together she took my very raw manuscript and, having read it, convinced me that she could make it fit to publish. I remember feeling a surge of confidence from her encouragement and set to work with a will on the corrections and suggestions she provided to me. I have no hesitation in recommending Nicky’s editorial administrations to both established writers and those setting off on the tortuous path of writing. She can, and will, make that path much easier.’

William V Kelly

Author, Until the Fat Man Sings; Place in the Sun

‘I’m indebted to Betterwrite for the time and diligence they gave to my novel. I particularly appreciated the observations from Nicky during the development edit, which both tightened the narrative and gave it greater coherence.’

Nick Corble

Author, The Bond (or Last Man Standing)

‘Nicky has written three editorial reports for Betterwrite Literary Consultants and all have been excellent: penetrating, comprehensive and judicious. In the field of fiction she clearly has a high level of professional ability as a development editor. She is also co-operative and reliable, and good to work with. I would recommend her without hesitation.’

Rob Matthews

Director, Betterwrite.com, Literary Consultants

‘I couldn’t have been more pleased with Nicky’s editing of A Crazy French Rhythm – my first attempt at a novel. It came in exactly when she said it would, and although I was reasonably pleased with what I had written, Nicky had tightened it up beautifully, allowing the narrative to flow far more easily. Her editorial style sheet was incredibly helpful, and her observations of my writing habits embarrassingly accurate! Including overuse of exclamation marks!’

Carolyn Ross

Author, A Crazy French Rhythm

‘I just went over all your corrections to prepare the first few layouts. And I just want to let you know how glad I am to have you! Your suggestions are always great and really feel like “my language” in the end. That’s really taking pressure off from the hectic process – thanks for that support and your great work!’

Stefanie Köhler

Publisher & Editor | CUVÉE & other media