Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to find out more about how I work. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

 

When I look at your manuscript during a developmental edit, I'll give you guidance on two intertwining levels.

What I call the storytelling level includes big-picture elements such as:

  • Overall pacing: does the plot progress at a pace which keeps the readers engaged?
  • Plot structure: does the plot unfold in a way that creates suspense?
  • Plot threads: do the subplots tie in with the central plot effectively?
  • Payoff: does the ending satisfy the reader's expectations?
  • Character arcs: do the characters grow and change throughout the novel?
  • Characterisation: are characters' motivations clear to the reader? Is each character distinct in the way they behave and talk?
  • Conflict: do characters' motivations and desires clash to create compelling conflict?
  • Worldbuilding: is the setting portrayed vividly? Does the in-world logic withstand scrutiny?
  • The more technical level of writing craft includes on-the-page elements such as:

  • Dialogue: does dialogue flow naturally? Are dialogue tags used appropriately?
  • Point of view: is the story written from the most effective point(s) of view? Are the narrative boundaries maintained – e.g. are there any instances where information is given to the reader that the narrator couldn't know?
  • Narrative style: is the 'voice' of the narration consistent? Does the chosen style serve the story well?
  • Scene pacing: does each scene contain sufficient tension and plot/character progression to keep the reader engaged? Is there a good balance of description and action?
  • Conveying information: does the narration use 'showing' and 'telling' appropriately and effectively? Are readers allowed to infer information rather than it being spelled out for them?
  • The storytelling and the writing craft aspects are interrelated and each affects the other. A full developmental edit would look at both of these levels more or less equally (depending on your manuscript's needs), whereas a manuscript evaluation would focus more on the storytelling elements, and a partial edit would focus on writing craft.

     

    Your editing journey from start to finish will look something like this:

    1. First contact

    Not as scary as it sounds! Whether you know exactly what you want from me or are unsure what your manuscript needs, get in touch for a no-obligation chat about my services.

    It’s really useful if you can provide the following information when you contact me:
  • What genre is your manuscript?
  • What is the total word count of your manuscript? Is it finished? Has it gone through any rounds of revision already?
  • Who is your intended audience? (You can be as vague or as specific as you like!)
  • What is your end goal: are you aiming to submit your work to agents/publishers, planning to self-publish, or something else entirely?
  • Do you already know which service(s) you are interested in, or would you like to discuss this?
  • Do you need the work by a particular date? (A rush fee might apply.)

  • I’ll answer any questions that you have, let you know my availability and ask for any further information I might need.

    If you’re interested in a full developmental edit or a tailored service that falls outside of my fixed-price services, I’ll also ask to look at your manuscript so that I can provide you with a quote. Rest assured that I will store any documents that you send me securely and confidentially, in line with my privacy policy.

    2. Plotting a course

    Once we’ve decided to work together, it’s time to finalise the project details. We will mutually agree the scope of the project and the timeline for the edit. We’ll also sort out payment arrangements, and I’ll ask you to read through my terms and conditions.

    To make sure that I direct my edit in the direction most useful to you, I might ask you some more questions about your work. These could include questions about particular aspects of writing that you’d like to improve on, or books that have inspired or influenced your writing.

    3. Takeoff! / The journey

    This is the bit where you get to sit back, relax and enjoy the view while I work on the edit! During longer projects, I’ll check in with you every now and again to let you know how it’s going.

    4. Coming in to land

    Once I’ve completed the edit, I’ll send all the agreed materials to you. For a developmental edit, this will usually be a revision letter and an annotated manuscript. For a manuscript evaluation, this will be a written report.

    You’ll have the opportunity to ask me any questions you have about the edit, and if the project fee included a follow-up conversation or a review of your revised manuscript, we’ll schedule that in. I’ll also ask you for some feedback, so I can continue to improve my services.

    5. Your future world

    From here on out, it’s over to you! My edit will guide you through possible ways you could move forward with your work, but if you need any further support with your writing, you'll know where to find me.

     

    The editing process is unique to each manuscript, and I may ask to have a look at your work in order to guide you towards the right service or to give you a quote (for services where the price is not fixed). Every manuscript has different strengths and different needs, and by assessing what sort of editorial guidance would benefit you the most, I can provide you with a better idea of how much my services will cost and how long the edit will take.

    Rest assured that I will keep your manuscript confidential and store all files securely. For more information, see my privacy policy.

     

    Every editor is different—each will have different approaches, working methods and perspectives. Editing is a very collaborative and communicative process, and it’s very important to find an editor who is a good match for you and your work.

    My areas of expertise are:
  • science fiction, fantasy and other speculative fiction (for adults and young adults);
  • fiction featuring LGBTQIA+ characters (for adults and young adults).
  • That doesn’t mean that I won’t look at manuscripts that don’t fall within these categories; SFF and LGBTQ+ books are simply what I have most experience working with and what I typically enjoy editing the most.

    If you feel that my working style and approach to editing is what you’re looking for but your novel doesn’t come under those areas, I am happy to chat to you about what you need and whether I can provide that. (Please note that I don’t edit any type of non-fiction, including memoir.)

    If either of us decides that we aren’t a good match, I’ll always endeavour to recommend some freelance colleagues who might better suit your needs.

     

    For fixed-price services, I require full payment upfront before the project is scheduled to begin.

    In the case of larger projects (such as full developmental edits), I am happy to discuss splitting the payment into instalments. All instalments must be paid before the project is complete and I reserve the right to withhold delivery of my edits until payment has been made in full.

    For bookings made more than a month in advance, I require a deposit equal to 10% of the project quote to hold your slot in my schedule. If the project goes ahead as planned, this will be taken off the invoice when full payment is due. If you cancel the project, the deposit will be retained as a cancellation fee.

    For more payment terms, please see my terms and conditions.

     

    I ask for and value feedback from all of my clients so that I can continually improve my services. As a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, I abide by their Code of Fair Practice and I am committed to resolving any issues quickly and fairly. If you are unhappy with my services for any reason, please contact me in the first instance so that we can discuss the situation and come to an agreement about how best to move forward.

    Got another question?

    In one small step, take a giant leap for your manuscript. Contact Jake today for a no-obligation chat about how Future Worlds Editing can help you on your creative journey.