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Libertad Editing Services: Line Editing

By this time you will be on, at least, the final draft of your work. Your beta readers have read your chapter structure and your first official draft has been subject to a thorough ‘Structural Edit’.

You have made all of the changes required and probably rewrote huge sections of your manuscript. You have found a new interest in your work, as you polish it and polish it to the point where you can’t improve it any more.

If this is the case – if this describes you – for the love of all that’s holy do not submit the work for a ‘Line Edit’ or a ‘Copy Edit’ and definitely not a ‘Mechanical Edit’. Rather, take the time to once again reach out to your beta readers.

Having made so many changes, it is a really good idea to have a stranger re-read your work. Over the years, I have lost count of the times that I have had to rewrite a manuscript after a ‘Line Edit’ and have in the process wasted thousands of pounds.

If, after another round of beta reading, you feel that you have gone as far as you can with your manuscript, then now might be the time to consider a ‘Line Edit’.

If you are not sure, don’t forget that we do offer a free 15 minutes video chat to discuss your work and how best we might be able to help you. Just go to our website’s ‘Contact’ page and message us. We will usually get back to you within 24 hours.

What is a ‘Line Edit’ and what does it look for?

Having taken your idea for a book – your concept – and given it structure, we edited both at the concept level and at the structural level. Now is the time to look at the detailed level – the level of sentences and the words they contain literally ‘Line by line’.

The Libertad ‘Line Edit’ concentrates on the following points line by line – and backwards:

  • Word choice
  • Vocabulary
  • Consistent voice
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Capitalisation

You may have noticed that most ‘Author Service’ companies proudly, and somewhat ominously, mention in the description of their services that they make sure that your work conforms to such and such a style guide – usually the Chicago Manual of Style. You may have also noticed that we do not!

There are two important reasons that we don’t use the Chicago Manual of Style or any of its bastard relatives:

  • Language is not mathematics; it is an art that expresses the depth of the soul. Cutting a manuscript to pieces just to sew on the dead parts of someone else’s language is a crime against humanity that could only be perpetuated by a soulless vampire, or worse a copy-editor.
  • Language evolves in ways that reflect the changes in the demographic of its users. Books that examine language and its evolution are interesting, in and of themselves, but it is an abomination to expect those books to act as a datum for the use of language. The very idea has the reek of fascism and the compulsion of speech.  To insist on the use of these ‘Style Guides’ is a refuge for the talentless and a defence for the coward.

Ultimately, your manuscript is your own and it should be an expression of your own unique voice. The only criteria to apply to your work are the following two concerns: Is your work understandable by your target audience and does it accurately express your vision.


If you need our help:

Contact us through the website. We will reply within 24 hours, where possible. Please, then, email us three pages of the best part of the work with a synopsis of the manuscript. We will then have a look and suggest a time and day for a free 15 minute video conference to discuss your work and how we might help you.

After we have had the chance to chat and make sure that we are a good fit – as a team- we will give you a formal quote for the work you would like us to do on your project, and you can then make up your mind if you would like us to proceed.

We normally require 50% of the fee to be paid before work can commence.

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