“Every page was once a blank page, just as every word that appears on it now was not always there, but instead reflects the final result of countless large and small deliberations. All the elements of good writing depend on the writer’s skill in choosing one word over another.”
~ Francine Prose
WORDS ARE MATTER. MAKE THEM MATTER.
As your editor, I am as passionate about your writing as you are. I utilize my critical distance to amplify your insights and the integrity of your vision and to cast a penetrating beam of comprehension and perspective on your composition. Together, we discover and distill the meaning and significance of your work to produce captivating, lucid, and fluid prose.
I align my approach with your professional orientation, methodology, disposition, and intended audience. I assist aspiring and veteran authors in a variety of genres and mediums as well as writers who need more creative inspiration and direction. I specialize in academic editing and literary fiction and creative nonfiction.
I excel at rendering academic manuscripts into clear and focused language, and I enjoy working alongside clients to transform intellectually sophisticated arguments into luminous prose. Immersion in a scholarly manuscript demands fluency in a variety of disciplines, discourses, and methodologies. My interdisciplinary background, research skills, and critical faculties enable me to comprehend the complexities and nuances of diverse fields of study. I guide clients toward building cohesive arguments, using precise language that is readable, engaging, and discipline-specific, and effectively staking out the significance of their ideas within their wider field.
Editing literary works provides me with an opportunity to extend clients’ mental maps, expand my apprehension and appreciation of form and genre, and guide a manuscript’s evolution as an exercise in both art and craft. Whether you possess a hazy semblance of an idea in need of brainstorming and support, an analytical essay seeking an authoritative voice, or an academic manuscript that demands greater clarity and synthesis, I attend to people at all stages of their creative journey.
Excavating and empowering marginalized voices lies at the center of my life’s work. I take a special interest in manuscripts that explore the identity-based disjunctions and intersections that frame human experience and expression, and I apply a sensitive and attuned ear that apprehends both the coarse and nuanced texture of personal histories and collective belonging.
Every manuscript and every client presents distinct opportunities and challenges. As a team, we collaborate to set priorities, establish attainable goals, and create a final product that honors your intentions and represents your best effort.
The following section offers a more detailed account of my areas of expertise and approach to the tasks of academic, developmental, line, and manuscript editing:
When I edit academic projects, I regard your work as both an expression of individual voice and a part of a chorus of disciplinary research and practice. I identify and amplify the cornerstones of your arguments and your unique contribution to a broadened understanding of your subject area. I trace the articulation of this significance throughout the manuscript to locate areas where it needs development, enhancement, and/or clarification. I ensure that your content aligns stylistically with the conventions of your discipline and that it is conceptualized and organized effectively and efficiently.
I assist with drafting initial plans for a manuscript, plotting a sequential course, and guiding the evolution of content. I target the strengths of your manuscript and magnify their impact. Likewise, I home in on areas that need improvement, refine and streamline the message and its delivery, and narrow and expand scope as necessary. I meet with clients who are in the brainstorming phase of the creative process to sift through ideas and devise a road map for composition. I also confer with people who have already been through several rounds of editing and are still not satisfied with their work. I ask questions, offer extensive and concrete feedback, and guide clients through the stages of revision to clarify and render their expression more vividly.
Line editing is both narrow in scope and incredibly impactful (the two are, in fact, mutually dependent). Narrow in that it works almost exclusively with existing content (as opposed to suggesting expansion) and proposes word- and sentence-level rephrasing. Impactful because it does so in the service of achieving greater precision and potency on the micro-level. Through attending to the fine-grained aspects of written communication, this process crystallizes not only linguistic expression but also broader craft elements like plot development, characterization, pacing, setting, etc.
Sometimes clients desire a focused and experienced reader to review the current state of their work. In this instance, I provide an assessment of readability, coherence, and progression. I identify why your manuscript works and where it doesn’t. I delineate its specific editorial needs so that clients can see both the broader stroke implications of their work and the fine tuning necessary to render its expression more potently and cogently.
I am diligent yet efficient, attentive, and reliable. I bring an acute focus, attention to detail, curiosity, and flexibility to each project and client. I am proficient in a variety of editorial platforms and collaborative mediums, and I am comfortable editing in both textual and digital formats. I continue to build my skill set as a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the American Copy Editors Society, and the Bay Area Editors Forum. I work hard to align expectations at the outset, establish clear time frames for deliverables, and facilitate clear and consistent communication. Throughout this collaborative process, I remain open to your voice and to the premise of your work and committed to the value of your vision.
After an initial discussion and manuscript sample review, I can assess compatibility and provide a project estimate. My services include the following:
Copyediting ~ review of the manuscript’s mechanics to ensure correct grammar, punctuation, and other stylistic concerns
Developmental Editing ~ content development, organization, and presentation; shepherding a project from proposal or rough manuscript to final draft; helping to clarify voice, determine organizational schema, and incorporate feedback into successive iterations
Substantive Editing ~ also called line or content editing; entails basic copyediting + evaluation of structural issues related to the manuscript’s coherence, integrity, and approach; may involve rewriting and/or rearranging certain portions of the text
*Please note that jobs with less than a 72-hour turnaround time will incur an additional “rush fee” of 30%.
I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation: this is an opportunity to hear about your project scope and needs and for you to ask any preliminary questions before moving forward.
Please contact Rachel directly for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Never think of revising as fixing something that is wrong. That starts you off in a negative frame of mind. Rather, think of it as taking an opportunity to improve something you already love.”
~ Marion Dane Bauer