Editing

Jodie is a highly in-demand freelance editor who specializes in thrillers and other fast-paced, suspenseful fiction, as well as YA (young adult), historical fiction, and mainstream.

Jodie’s editing services range from developmental and “big picture” advice, through structural editing, content editing, line editing, copy editing, to final proofreading.

For author reviews of Jodie’s editing, please click here: Testimonials.

JODIE RENNER’S FREELANCE FICTION EDITING PROCESS & SERVICES: 

“Jodie Renner’s evaluation and critique of the first 40 pages of my crime thriller were invaluable. Her analysis, edits, and suggestions were excellent, and she improved my manuscript tremendously. Working with her was a pleasure. She was prompt, thorough, and incredibly insightful. I couldn’t be more pleased and strongly recommend her editing services to all writers.”

~Mary Bush, December 2013 

PROCESS:

I accept new manuscripts by email only, as attachments in Word, and do all my editing on-screen and online, using Microsoft Word Track Changes, with comments in the margin, and I offer a full range of editing services.

I specialize in fiction, especially suspense-thrillers and other fast-paced stories.

My services range from content and substantive editing through stylistic/line editing, to final copyediting and proofreading. For details on the various services offered, please scroll down to “Services.” Also, please read some of the many testimonials on my editing by talented, published authors whose manuscripts I’ve edited.

My editing process is instructive, interactive and collaborative, with lots of teaching moments, links to related articles, and other suggested reading. See the Home page for the kinds of issues I look at when I’m editing fiction. (Scroll down there.)

As I do all the editing myself, I can only accept a fraction of the projects writers query me about for editing. Because my time for book editing is limited, I prefer to only accept manuscripts that “speak to me” in some way, or that have a good story that fires my passion. This will also ensure that you receive a dedicated, conscientious editing job.

At this time, I am only accepting fiction manuscripts under 95,000 words long; or I may do a detailed critique of your first 10 to 50 pages, in the following genres:

Thrillers (not too gruesome, please!), romantic suspense (with more suspense than romance), fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries, other crime fiction, and some mainstream, YA fiction, and middle-grade fiction.

In order for me to consider whether I’d like to take on your manuscript, I need you to send me the following when you first contact me:

The first 10-15 pages of your manuscript, plus 5 pages from somewhere in the middle:
– as an attachment in Microsoft Word (not a PDF)
– Times New Roman, 12-point
– double-spaced*, left-justified, one space between sentences
– Indent each paragraph by using the MS Word paragraphing or formatting tools. (Do NOT press the space bar repeatedly to indent.) No extra space between paragraphs.

*Because I receive so many requests for editing, I usually need to see the first 2-5 pages of your manuscript as a sample of your writing before I’ll reply. Thanks.*

*For basic formatting instructions, please click this title to go to my blog article “Basic Formatting of Your Manuscript.

ALSO INCLUDE:

– a brief plot outline or synopsis: a few paragraphs to half a page, paragraph form, telling the main points of the story, with a beginning, middle and end. Start with your main character and be sure to include the main story problem.

– a brief description of each of the main characters, in order of importance

– the genre (or subject matter)

– total number of words in manuscript (or projected). Under 95K words for me, please.

– number of words written so far, if not complete

– your target readership

“Jodie Renner is the real deal. In a world awash with sketchy advice for writers, Jodie cuts through the darkness with the piercing light of her expertise. Her editing, advice, and suggested revisions are concrete, practical, and produce compelling prose. Jodie skillfully helped me navigate from the shores of my nonfiction through the treacherous waters of thriller writing. She helped me take a manuscript that was not ‘there’ yet to one that was. I feel fortunate to have found her and look forward to working with her on my next project.”

Peter Eichstaedt, Sept. 19, 2014, journalist and author of thriller, Borderland. www.petereichstaedt.com

If I feel we can go straight to copyediting (light, moderate or substantive), I will give you a per-word rate (and total fee) depending on the amount of work the manuscript seems to need to make it publish-ready.

Initial assessment and overall advice: I’ll first look at the “big picture” and address any noticeable craft-of-fiction issues, such as your opening, characterization, point of view, pacing, style and dialogue. Then, after you’ve done subsequent revisions of the first chapters and returned them to me, I’ll get started on the copyediting stage.

Copyediting:

I’ll divide your manuscript into sections of about 3-6 chapters each, and work on one section at a time, then send it back to you for your reactions and revisions before going on to the next section. We’ll usually send each section back and forth several times, until we’re both happy with it, before going on to the next section. And you’ll likely be going ahead and tweaking or revising future chapters, based on what you’ve learned from feedback I’ve given you on the early chapters.

At the copyediting stage, I perform two very detailed edits on every chapter, then more passes to quickly check subsequent changes only. The first pass is to address content and style issues, as well as word choices, sentence construction, reducing wordiness, and smoothing out awkward phrasing, etc. Then, when you send that section back to me with your revisions, I go over it again with a fine-toothed comb. Using Microsoft Word Track Changes and Comments and my well-used copies of The Chicago Manual of Style (956 pages) and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1624 pages), as well as online resources, I’ll correct typos, spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and make suggestions for word choice, sentence flow, and clarity. After that, I’ll just look at final changes indicated through Track Changes. 

For more detailed information on my editing services, please contact Jodie at info@JodieRennerEditing.com, or j.renner.editing@hotmail.com.

“No matter where you are with your project, Jodie can help. Her sense of dialogue is superb. She will show you how to pace your work appropriately and is a master at point of view issues and building more personality into your characters. She does it all without infringing on your voice. Jodie is also a precise grammar queen. Simply, Jodie is the best all-around editor I have ever used.”

~ John Tkac, author of the award-winning Talking to Water – A Dolphin Chronicles Book, edited by Jodie

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My fees start at $0.017 per word (about $4.25 per page, or about $1,360 for an 80,000-word manuscript) for already very good writing that may need the following: help with point of view issues, reducing info dumps and picking up the pace; showing instead of telling; finding a more natural, authentic voice/tone; word choice, querying of character motivations and actions; flagging of any plot holes, inconsistencies, discrepancies and implausibilities; streamlining the sentences; eliminating redundancies and repetitions; and finally, light copyediting and proofreading for spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.

Prices go up to 4.5 cents ($0.045) per word ($11.25 per page or $3,600 for 80,000 words), for a very comprehensive edit, including structural editing and deep content editing, with lots of coaching geared specifically to make your story stronger and improve your writing skills. You’ll get big-picture advice first, offering links to articles and books tailored to your needs, as well as ongoing comments, suggestions and questions re: effective fiction techniques, character motivations, and general logistics (all of the aspects mentioned above). This is followed by stylistic editing / heavy copyediting to smooth out and tighten your writing, with the sections going back and forth, then final copyediting and proofreading.

Most manuscripts I edit these days fall in the $0.018 to $0.028 per-word range (from $1,440 to $2240 for 80,000 words).

Even for a light, final edit, I always pay attention to what’s going on in the story, the logistics of the plot and character motivations, and the effectiveness of the fiction techniques used, not just grammar and sentence structure, so my editing is always content editing, too. If something doesn’t make sense to me, I’ll mention it.

My editing process is instructive, interactive and collaborative, with lots of teaching moments and referrals to other resources.

If you can’t afford my rates for your whole manuscript, choose one of the options below to get some expert advice on the first chapters. You can then use the edits and advice to guide you on your revisions of the rest of the novel, which will ultimately save you a great deal of money.

FIRST 10 to 50 PAGES ONLY:

If you’re on a tight budget, you may opt to have me do a thorough, detailed edit and critique of the first 10 to 50 pages (double-spaced), including advice on your half- to one-page synopsis, for $0.025 to $0.05 per word. This thorough edit includes big-picture advice on fiction-writing techniques such as your opening, characters, plot, point of view, pacing, reducing info dumps, showing instead of telling, dialogue, etc., will help you bring your characters and scenes to life. It also includes comments about your character motivations and story logistics, advice on streamlining your writing to improve the flow of ideas, and finally a detailed, comprehensive line edit and proofread of the whole section. This fee includes several passes, including two complete ones: the first to offer big-picture and stylistic advice, and the second to go over every word again after you’ve done some revisions based on my suggestions. After that, I’ll do a quick run-through or two to check over any subsequent changes that are clearly evident through Track Changes.

The fee of $65-$125 for 10 pages, $125-$250 for 20 pages, $190-$375 for 30 pages, or $250-$500 for 40 pages (double-spaced) will include both a marked-up copy using Track Changes, and a “clean” final copy, plus of course detailed comments and suggestions and links to relevant articles.

After this thorough initial critique and edit, you can use my advice on that section to guide your revisions and even rewriting of the rest of the manuscript. Revising the rest of your manuscript based on advice in the initial critique will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the editing process for the whole novel, either with me or someone else. If we decide to continue working together on the rest of your manuscript, my fee for the rest will be lower, depending on the extent of your subsequent revisions/rewrites on future chapters before you send them to me.

SHORT STORIES:

I have served as judge for many short story contests, including for Writer’s Digest, The Federation of BC Writers, and Word on the Lake Writers Festival. I have also organized and edited two high-quality anthologies for charity, which included several rounds of editing for each story accepted. I edit and critique short fiction for contests or publication. My fees for a thorough, comprehensive edit of your short story, including big-picture advice on fiction techniques, content editing, stylistic editing and a final proofread, with several rounds of back-and-forth until we both feel it’s ready, start at $0.02 per word and go up to $0.05 per word, depending on how much work the story needs to bring it up a competitive level, so from $100 to $250 for a 5,000-word short story, or $200 to $500 for 10,000 words. This includes several passes, with the manuscript going back and forth in between. I’ll do a short sample edit for you first.

PAYMENT TERMS:

For copyediting a full manuscript, I prefer payments of about $200 at a time, through PayPal to my email address, j.renner.editing@hotmail.com, in advance as we go along, just before I complete each section. For manuscript critiques, payment must be made in full in advance.

For more detailed information on manuscript critiques or my editing services, please contact Jodie at info@JodieRenner.com, or j.renner.editing@hotmail.com. If your writing intrigues me, I’ll be open to negotiation on the price.