What I Do
I find spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. I will also tackle minor formatting issues, like double spaces after a period, line spacing, and margins. There may be a repeated word, or a word used incorrectly, and I will make a suggestion about how to fix it. I will not, however, tell you how to improve your story arc or how to improve your dialogue. There may be a sentence that needs to be corrected grammatically for clarity, but I will not tell you how to write a better sentence. Those are examples of things a copyeditor does. While that is a service I offer from time to time, it does not fit the definition of proofreading.
How I Do It
My go-to for nearly everything is the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). If you are writing a novel, please note that this is the style guide preferred by publishers. I will also use your style guide, if you have one. Do you have a character named Lily? Or is it Lilly? Or Lillie? Jeffery or Jeffrey? Character name spellings can be tricky. I want to make sure they are spelled correctly and consistently throughout your manuscript. An author’s style guide can be especially important for science fiction, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic genre writers who create their own words for things not yet invented!
For spelling, I use Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.
I use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature and Google Doc’s Suggestions feature for regular documents. For PDFs I use Foxit Phantom, which lets me mark up your PDF as a Word file, then convert it back to PDF.
Work I Love
See the list to the left (mobile users scroll down)? Here’s a secret: the list is incomplete! I will read pretty much any form, including poetry. As for genre, I’m game for nearly anything, but I especially love literary fiction (the edgier, the better!), science fiction, and fantasy.
What You Get
I can send you the Word document with the edits and comments visible in Track Changes so that you can accept the changes yourself. I use two colors: one for deletions, one for insertions. This makes it easier to see where one starts and the other ends. If you’d prefer, I am happy to send you a clean version, which means I’ve simply made the changes, and you don’t need to go through the corrections yourself. Please keep in mind there may be a word choice here or there that you will need to make. If so, I will communicate that with you. The words in your manuscript should be your own.