|Posted by Kristen Hamilton on March 23, 2018 at 10:00 AM|
February 7, 2018
Thank you so much for choosing me to edit The Darkness! I did three passes on the manuscript: developmental editing, line editing, and proofreading.
In the first pass (developmental editing), I looked at the book as a whole and focused on improving character development, pacing, perspective, and the story’s organization. The most issues I noticed were in some areas that needed more explanation, usually in developing the scene some more for clarity (see page 37) or for “showing” instead of “telling” (see page 109: “I grit my teeth, resolved that Dr. Michael…” or page 111: “The parachute billowed behind me, slowing my descent.” ). Try to incorporate action and dialogue into scenes to "show" them instead of "telling" or summarizing the action.
I also did a line edit, where I focused on improving sentence structure, looking at the logic and clarity of scenes, rhythm/flow/readability of sentences, and breaking up too-long paragraphs. Some areas of your book required more line editing and some required less, which I’ve found is pretty common with most authors’ work. Most of the issues I found in this pass centered on improving the flow—see page 139: “The warrior shoved the gun away, leaving Brian without a weapon” or on page 23: “As expected, when I located the correct room, the security guard was watching over the cameras.” When writing sentences, be sure to use active verbs for clear meaning. The basic sentence structure—subject, verb, object - like "The warrior (subject)" + "shoved (verb)" + "the gun (object)"—is always a good, clear construction and will always work well for clarity and conciseness.
During the final proofreading pass, I focused on correcting surface errors including issues with grammar, word choice, punctuation, syntax, missing or repeated words, and spelling. One thing that stuck out to me as being problematic was an exaggerated use of “there was” or “there were” to start a sentence. I took out as many instances of these as I could to improve the flow, although this might be an area you should be mindful of in the future.
Although your story was full of action and had some great themes, I noticed that the tone was a bit too formal at times, and I was confused with the timeline and setting (the story seems to take place in medieval times due to the horses as transportation and the language choices, but there are references to photographs and eyeglasses, which were not around at that time). It might be worth going back over those areas once more before publishing.
In all, I made 8224 changes: 4129 insertions, 3939 deletions, 17 instances where I moved text, and 139 formatting changes.
If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail or set up a time for a phone call. Have a wonderful day!
Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of Kristen Corrects,
Inc., where she provides manuscript editing services for traditionally and self-
publishing authors. Several authors whose books she has edited have won
awards and have topped Amazon's best sellers lists.
Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she can usually be
found curled up with a good book (alongside her three cats, Sophie, Charlie, and
Jack). She loves watching cat videos and scary movies, eating pizza, teaching
herself French, and traveling, and she is likely planning her next vacation. She
lives outside of Boise, Idaho.