Substantive Editing

Substantive editing of books and stories

Substantive editing of books and stories by Colin Thomas - Vancouver Editor

Whether you’re working on a novel or a short story, a memoir or some other form of non-fiction, I will help you to make your story more vivid by applying principles of escalating tension and deepening insight. To make sure you’re building your story on a strong foundation, I offer feedback on elements such as plot, characterization, and themes.

When dealing with full manuscripts, I offer two kinds of response:

  • a full substantive edit
  • a substantive review

Full Substantive Edit

In a full substantive edit, I read the manuscript three times. I provide you with:

  • extensive written notes. These notes celebrate the manuscript’s strengths and identify its weaknesses. The notes also offer alternative approaches and strategies. Authors consistently tell me that my feedback is the most thorough, creative, and helpful feedback they’ve received.
  • chapter-by-chapter observations
  • follow-up support by phone and email.

Substantive Review

A substantive review, which takes about one-third the time of a full edit, offers an efficient way to get feedback on manuscripts that are at a relatively early stage of development. If you’re an emerging writer, I suggest you start with a substantive review.

In a substantive review, I read the manuscript once and provide the services listed above, with the exception of chapter-by-chapter observations.

With longer works, I help you to release the power of your narrative by applying the principles of three-act storytelling. With short fiction, I look for four crucial characteristics that help short stories to achieve success.

Your suggestions literally flooded me with awe and appreciation.” Pam Withers, author of 15 best-selling young-adult books, including the Take It To The Extreme series

“Your notes are amazing. You have clearly and tactfully articulated the book’s problems while remaining totally optimistic about its potential. Your breakdown of structure coupled with specific suggestions for action is fantastic. You’ve given the author LOTS to work with. Oh, bless your soul.”Taryn Boyd, managing editor, Whitecap Books

Contact me for a free estimate.                                                                                                 top