Proofreading Fiction

What I can do for you

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is a final check for sense, consistency, and error.


While proofreading I will only intervene lightly, where there is ambiguity or error. The main things I’ll be checking are spelling, punctuation, and grammar. I will query anything important that catches my eye and I will suggest appropriate alternatives if necessary.

I will show good judgment when intervening: you don’t need to worry about your author voice and style changing because intervention is only at the surface level. Where there is any doubt about how much I should intervene I will get in touch with you before making any significant changes.

Style sheet

I will read for sense, consistency, and error and I will record all decisions and items to organise in a style sheet. I will find the correct term or the most commonly used to be marked on the project itself, though what I choose may depend on your style preferences. The style sheet can be sent to you to help you keep consistent the capitalisation, hyphenation, and spelling decisions, among others, even after I’ve sent you your proofread project.

What I’ll be doing

Sample assessment

Before anything begins I must read a 2,000-word sample of your story to assess if and how I can help you, and this sample should be sent as a word document or .mobi file. Reading your sample makes me familiar with your project and writing style. I’ll then let you know which areas I can help you with, and I can put together a quote if you have asked for one.

Note: I do not offer free copy edited or proofread samples to you. Why? I prefer to spend my time working with clients, and I can help you best when I’m working with a complete project.

  1. First read – I shall read through your writing to get a feel for your writing style and voice. I’ll be highlighting the obvious errors, recording the main style decisions in a style sheet, and marking anything I’m unsure about to return to later.
  2. Sense – an additional read through some sections for sense may also catch different types of ambiguities and more lingering errors, based on priority areas.
  3. Consistency – for fiction this can include character names, proper names, and settings; details about characters and plot; punctuation and style of numbers, times, dates; unessential formatting such as ‘extra’ tab spaces, spaces, and paragraph indentation; page numbers, preliminary matter, and end matter.
  4. Final check – before I send you your proofread project I will ensure all corrections are tidy and easy to understand, and that nothing looks out of place.

Your requirements

There is no one-size-fits-all. Every project is different.

For anything proofreading related, if you let me know of any specific requirements you have for your project or anything you are sure you want me to look for, please let me know when you Contact.

It is important you think about any significant style preferences and of your expectations for your service, so I can do my best to address your needs. Please also help me by making your requirements clear, which will make working together easier.

Delivery of your proofread project

Work will be delivered on a date close to the estimated completion time. I will keep in regular contact about the status of your project to let you know how it is going and how long it is taking me to work on.

I’ll prepare three MS Word versions for you: one with changes and comments, comments only, and no changes or comments. If you would like your project to be marked up or delivered in an alternative way, please let me know when you contact.

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