open book beside crystal ball working developmental editing magic
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Developmental editing, manuscript evaluations, and beta reads to bring out your story’s glory.

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Member of the Editorial Freelancer's Association

Bringing Out the Glory

You…

  • Have written something awesome
  • Want to make it better
  • But aren’t sure where to start

I…

  • Talk to your story
  • Find out what it wants
  • Tell you what it said

We…

  • Team up with your writing
  • Polish it ’til it shines
  • Bring out your story’s glory

I’m the story whisperer, and I’m here to help.

Passion for stories. That’s what drives me, and it’s why I do what I do. Nothing gets me more excited than falling in love with characters (or hating them, whichever floats the story’s boat), exploring worlds, and hanging on while conflicts rip everything apart.

As far as things I put on my resume, they include an MFA in Popular Fiction (Seton Hill University) and a BA in Psychology (Merrimack College), as well as 7+ years of reviewing, blogging, and otherwise working with books. If you want the full list, you can check me out on Linkedin, but my professional credentials are only the foundation of what I bring as an editor. Need help untangling story threads? I’m here. Want to make sure every line shines? I’ve got your back. Feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about your writing? I’ve been there, and I’m here to tell you no story mountain can’t be climbed. You, me, and your story—we’re a team, and teams stick together.

What I Work Withh

As the story whisperer, I tailer my discussions in terms of how much feedback you want. From beta reading to manuscript evaluations, to full-blown developmental editing, there’s a service for your place in the writing process and your budget.

I’m open to discussing most genre fiction, including works with literary-genre crossover. My specialties lie in science fiction/fantasy (especially doorstopper epics, fairy tales, superheroes, and dystopias), anything middle grade, and quirky mysteries/romances for both adult and YA. If you’ve got pop culture references, uniquely amazing magic/technology, or an eccentric but lovable cast of secondary characters (or primary characters—multiple POVs are very much my thing), I’m your girl. I love whimsical and fun as much as I love lyrical and dark, and all the stuff in-between. My reading and editing tastes more or less align, and you can browse my Goodreads shelves for an idea of what gets my editorial engine running.

my read shelf:
M.T. DeSantis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Beta Reading

A casual chat by the water fountain (or for my fellow Bostonians, the “bubblah.”).

lemons slices hanging out and chatting in a pitcher of water
Photo by Julia Zolotova on Unsplash

I offer two tiers of beta reading, and each delivers “reader” feedback, if with a slightly more professional eye. Unlike developmental editing or a manuscript evaluation, this service is designed for polished manuscripts that are seeking that “hey, I liked this, didn’t jive so much with that” feedback. The full beta read comes with a 1-3-page report of overall notes, as well as reaction comments in the manuscript. Beta reading light just has the 1-3-page report.

Please Note: Beta reding is not the same as developmental editing and delivers a completely different experience. For more about my beta reading process and answers to some frequently asked questions, check out my Beta Reading FAQ.

Pricing for works 60,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter projects):

  • Beta reading: $3 USD/1000 words
  • Beta reading light: $1.25 USD/1000 words

Click here to inquire about a beta read

Manuscript Evaluation

A business meeting over lunch.

veggies in a salad, hanging out and chatting
Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

I like to call this “developmental editing light” (more on developmental editing next). The manuscript evaluation is a big-picture breakdown of what could use some extra attention in the story, as well as notes on how things like characterization, world, conflict, plot, etc. are coming across. An evaluation comes with a report of overall notes on the story, as well as chapter-by-chapter notes of things that aren’t quite working or that are working extremely well. I do manuscript evaluations on either partial or completed manuscripts.

Pricing for works 20,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter projects): $3 USD/page (1 page = 250 words)

Click here to contact me about a manuscript evaluation

Developmental Editing

A heart-to-heart at 3 AM.

stars in the night sky, sharing thoughts
Photo by Paul Volkmer on Unsplash

If your manuscript just needs to unload its troubles (and you need a break from listening), this is the service for you. Developmental editing is all about the big-picture elements of the story (characterization, plot, conflict, world, etc.) with a focus on suggestions for improving trouble spots by both showing how things may be changed and offering examples for strengthening the story. I’ll deliver a detailed report with feedback on these big-picture elements and the manuscript with both reaction and editorial comments throughout, both focused on bringing out the glory in your story and writing.

If you’re thinking developmental editing sounds like you’d be getting less than with a manuscript evaluation, here’s the big difference. The evaluation will say “I struggled to connect with character X because I felt their personality wasn’t consistent.” Developmental editing will say “I struggled to connect with Character X because I felt their personality wasn’t consistent. This was particularly strong at incidents A, B, and C because of these specific actions, and here are suggestions for tightening up Character X’s personality.”

*Base rate for works 20,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter projects):

$0.025 USD/word

Click here to contact me about developmental editing

Line and Copy Editing

Line Editing

If developmental editing is about story elements, line editing is its cousin that’s all about the writing itself. As its name suggests, line editing focuses on tightening up the writing at the line level. Don’t be swayed by the word “tightening.” The idea isn’t to use as few words as possible. If your story calls for sweeping lines full of metaphor and imagery, I’ll preserve that tone while making suggestions to improve readability and flow. Even sweeping sentences should make every word earn their keep. In addition to suggestions throughout the manuscript, I’ll also provide an overall report with recommendations for strengthening the writing and pointing out overused constructions (such as starting lots of sentences with “but”).

*Base rate for works 20,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter works):

$0.02 USD/word

Copy Editing

The nuts and bolts. Copy editing (also rendered as copyediting or copy-editing in the wild) focuses on cleaning up technical details of the writing—punctuation, grammar, spelling, missing/extra words, etc. It also involves a bit of fact checking (such as making sure a song is attributed to the right artist) and consistency checking (like keeping the spelling of your fantasy kingdom’s name right all the way through). I will also help put together a style sheet for the book/series as part of a copyedit. For more on what a style sheet entails, check out this excellent post (complete with downloadable style sheet template) from Louise Harnby.

A quick note about my copy editing service: I strongly suggest having another editor go over the manuscript to catch missed errors (this step is often called proofreading), especially if you’re self-publishing. While I strive to catch as much as I can, little things will slip through the cracks. Even the most thoroughly edited book will miss a few small things, and you want to give your book every possible advantage out there. For more about editor edit rates (because it happens to all of us), check out this great post by Lisa Poisso.

*Base rate for works 20,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter projects):

$0.01 USD/word

Click here to contact me about line and copy editing

*The prices given above for line, developmental, and copy editing are base rates–the average rate I charge for each service. Rate may vary depending on how much work the manuscript needs, the timeline for work (for example, rush jobs may have an additional fee), and other factors.

So, When you’re ready, I can help you…

  • Chat with your manuscript
  • Find out what it wants
  • Bring out your story’s glory

And if you aren’t sure what exactly your manuscript wants, you can drop me a general message below for some help figuring it out. After all, I am the story whisperer. 🤫