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Image by Tom Hermans

Elizabeth Nickels

Fiction editor and proofreader


What is the difference between developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading?

A developmental edit involves commenting on the structure, characterisation, narrative, plot, and to some extent themes of a novel, and making suggestions on how to improve them through the writing. For example, a developmental editor may suggest that a plot point is introduced earlier in the story and give examples of how to do this, or show ways to make a character’s POV clearer and more sympathetic.

Copy editing means that the editor makes or suggests changes to the style of the text to make it clearer, more consistent and/or more fluent. They can also find ways to reduce clichés and correct or query factual inaccuracies or anachronisms.

A proofreader corrects typos, spelling errors and grammatical errors. 


In practice, the type of editing required depends on the text. The editor may be sent a document for proofreading, and feel that it needs a copyedit or even a developmental edit beforehand. Another editor may feel that a text needs very little editing, so will suggest proofreading  it instead. I offer a hybrid developmental/copy editing service, where I make stylistic changes to the text but also offer suggestions on improvments to the narrative, plot, characterisation, and so on.

How much do you charge?

My current rates are UK£0.005 per word for copy editing, which equates to UK£500 per 100,000 words. Developmental editing and proofreading are UK£0.004 per word.  

How long will it take you to edit my document?

It depends on the document, but in general, I can edit 100,000 words in about a month. Get in contact to know more!

Can you help me publish my book?

I can professionally edit and proofread your book and offer advice on cover images, titles and blurbs. However, sadly, I cannot help with the publishing process or make recommendations to agents or publishers.

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