Quick Questions


I am happy to offer a 20% Discount to Military Veterans and Senior Citizens (62+).

What is developmental editing?

Developmental editing addresses the structural elements of a piece of writing, including character development, plot, pacing, setting or world-building, etc. This is often the first kind of editing a writer needs, for it helps them clarify their message and ensure that the reader will have a better opportunity to remain engaged or, at the very least, to comprehend the story.

What is line editing?

Line editing is sometimes called copy editing or substantive editing; the editor reads the text line-by-line, checking for errors or weaknesses at the sentence level, including grammar, punctuation, word usage, etc. Careful line editing must be done before proofreading.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is the final step before publication; it is a final check for spelling, punctuation, correct word usage, etc. There should be few errors in the manuscript at this point because copy/line editing has already been done.

What if my manuscript isn’t ready for editing?

If a manuscript isn’t ready for editing, good editors will offer to provide other services to help the author polish their work and prepare it for editing, such as Coaching, or will refer the author to other specialists, such as a ghostwriter or potential co-author.

Are you also a ghostwriter?

I have some experience ghostwriting; when I serve a client as a ghostwriter for a book, I ask that I receive written/published acknowledgement for editing the book.

How long does it take for you to edit a book?

The amount of time it takes for me to edit a book (or any manuscript) depends upon several factors:

  • the length of the manuscript (word count)
  • the type of editing required
  • the quality of the writing (fewer errors mean less time to correct them)
  • the topic of the writing (topics with which I am unfamiliar take me a little longer to comprehend and correct)
  • the number of other projects I am currently working on

Will you conference by phone or video chat?

Most of my correspondence with clients is conducted via email but I am happy to conference with you by phone and/or Zoom or Skype (the apps I am familiar with); I am willing to use/learn another way to visit with you about your project, too. Just let me know which way is most convenient or favorable to you (and I would appreciate your patience while I get the hang of it!).  🙂

I am happy to provide references, clients for whom I have edited and/or written before. Another way for you to see how previous clients have reviewed my work is to read the feedback I have received on Upwork. Please visit my Upwork profile:

More questions?

Please email me at RuthlessRedPenShelley@gmail.com

I will reply as quickly as I can!

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