Below is a sample from an edit I did for the early stages of Kim Iverson’s novel Dark Illusions: The Beginning. I use a three-color format as explained below, usually highlighting corrections in yellow to help draw attention to the adjustment. Small corrections in punctuation or two letter words can be easily overlooked. If any colors other than those mentioned here are used, they will be explained via e-mail when the document is returned.
Comment boxes are used to explain reasons for edits or to offer notes of advice. I prefer this method to avoid breaking up the manuscript with lengthy explanations. If the client is unable to view comment boxes on their device, I can simply add explanations within the manuscript or on a summary page at the end.
Explanation of colors:
- RED = Must Fix This. Something is incorrect as written.
- BLUE = Suggested alternative to improve flow or clarity
- GREEN = Personal comments or advice. I have a tendency to “talk” to the characters. This tells you I am completely absorbed in the story. It also adds a little levity to an otherwise frustrating process.
Some commonly used abbreviations:
- NC = No Comma needed
- NP = New Paragraph
Manuscripts should be submitted double spaced in .doc or .docx format. If you have any special requests for the way edits are handled, let me know and we can work something out. For longer manuscripts, I advise returning the document for a second look after corrections are made to be sure we haven’t missed anything. I will go over the manuscript as many times as needed until you are satisfied with the end results. There is no extra charge for this. It’s my job to help you create a polished work suitable for the public to read.
This is a great example of the style of comments that I generally give in a manuscript. I try to explain things a bit more to help each author understand why I’m marking what I am.
An example below of the sort of comments that I write in. It helps to break up the flow of headache inducing editing that authors go through.
A page with only marks on it.
You’re welcome to contact Kim with any questions that you have about the edits that she receives.