Editing and critiquing


Lesley Marshall
Member NZAMA

The publishing market is increasingly competitive; a polished and well-presented manuscript is more likely to succeed.  Lesley Marshall has been critiquing and editing fiction and non-fiction for more than twenty-five years.  Lesley works for writers, helping to improve their manuscripts before they are sent to a publisher.  References from published writers can be supplied.

Constructive criticism on how the manuscript works as a whole, covering such areas as structure, characterization and motivation.  I make only marginal marks on the manuscript, and will send a short report outlining where I feel improvements could be made.  This is a shorter process than a full edit, and an average 55,000-word manuscript would take about 8-10 hours.

Involves a full edit of the manuscript (taking about 15-20 hours for 55,000 words), covering the areas examined in a critique as well as detailed study of syntax.  My main consideration is that the writer's intent is conveyed to the reader. I look for typos and spelling or grammar errors, point out clumsy sentences, and check for punctuation, factual accuracy and consistency, taking particular note of the author's style and voice.

I make a style sheet detailing things like physical characteristics, clothing, food, cars, names, and architectural and geographical details.  I draw up a time chart, including any flashbacks, and where necessary I will sketch maps and house plans. The line-edited ms, with a copy of the style sheet, is sent back to the writer who may then incorporate my suggestions.  The writer always has the last word. I can work either on paper or in electronic form using Microsoft Word with editing marks.  I have edited a variety of fiction and non-fiction including biographies, family histories, rules for games, theses, prospectuses, C.V.s; also plays and screenplays, children's fiction, short stories, and thrillers.  I am one of few freelance editors with specialist experience in romantic fiction.

Deadlines are always scrupulously kept.  Confidentiality is guaranteed.   Overnight service for US customers is possible depending on my commitments.  Assignments from publishers are also considered.

I would be pleased to answer inquiries from writers or publishers regarding services and prices.

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editline at xtra dot co dot nz
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Physical address provided on request.