Content Editing

Content Editing, as distinguished from Line Editing, concerns itself with what is there (content, or the story itself) as opposed to how it is there (style). The Five Elements involved in a story are Setting, Characters, Plot, Conflict and Theme through a progression of Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Denouement and a Conclusion.

Renowned philosopher, Aristotle, expounded on the Six Elements of Drama, which include:

Plot – which involves the arrangement of the incidents in  your story (necessary to keep the audience hooked);

Characters – who represent admirable qualities in individuals that we might like to imitate (or see in ourselves). Characters  serve the plot, pushing the story along;

Diction – which involves the words that your characters use, and the way in which they use those words, which reveal true character;

Theme – results from the thoughts and ideas, created by the words spoken by characters (the point of it all);

Spectacle – is the action in the drama, which arises from the theme involving the words, choices and actions of the characters; and

Rhythm/Music – which can also be conveyed through words, lend an  emotional element to the drama.

The point of it all? Good stories do not result from unplanned, random, manic periods of inspiration. Rather, they are always carefully-planned, well-structured acts of deliberation.

When considering a manuscript, editors first seek to get a sense of the story in the Author’s Query, which is a brief pitch, advertising why the work should be published. Editors expect the Synopsis to convey an engaging plot, with interesting characters, incredible twists and an unpredictable ending. But the first few pages of the Manuscript is where the story is sold to skeptical editors and readers alike. If the opening pages of your novel are uninteresting, vague or slow to get to the point, the book is doomed out the gate.

On the contrary, the first few pages should be enticing, showing promise and creating intrigue and curiosity about the novel story that lies ahead. As the editor progresses into the manuscript, the plot should be straightforward and believable, characters should be complex and conflicted, tempted and tortured, articulate (though not always eloquent) as they carry the story and share its overriding message. The conflict should relatetosomething that readers care about, and above all, the book should be entertaining.

It is not a simple thing to write a good book. If it were, we would  be surrounded by millionaire authors. If you have written a book, it is helpful to have a literate friend or two around to share candid impressions. If you cannot take honest criticism from friends in order to improve your manuscript, then you are probably best-suited for self-publishing. If you have no friends, you can submit your work to an editorial service provider (like Rumpelstiltskin) for a low cost assessment.

If the problems with your novel require the services of a Content Editor, we will work with you in order to determine where you manuscript needs work, whether it is plot, character development, dialogue, relevance, slow readability or any other content concern.

The Content Editing price pays for the work of a professional Content Editor to edit/correct your entire manuscript, with tracking and with approval for changes provided in the edited document . Depending on the level of work required, it can be exhaustive, requiring in excess of twenty-five hours of a professional editor’s efforts.

Our price for Content Editing is $0.025 per word, which is about 30% less than the amount that content editors typically charge. You can determine the price for content editing your manuscript by multiplying the total word count of your manuscript by .025. On the calculator below, you can do the math.

At Parnassus Press, we give special attention and may apply additional discounts to authors and publishers who are our partners. Because we are a small editorial department, our typical turnaround time for Content Editting an 80,000 word manuscript is ten days. Payment terms are 50% up-front and 50% upon delivery.

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