A Stage 2 copy-edit on your novel

The Nuts and Bolts Edit

The Nuts and Bolts Edit

A Stage 2 copy-edit on your novel

A Nuts and Bolts Edit focuses on the clarity and consistency of your novel’s language. It’s a technical edit that smooths and corrects your text line by line, attending to punctuation, grammar, repetition and style.

In a nutshell: A professional makeover, delivered to the same high standards demanded by my publisher clients.

Not to be confused with: A proofread, which happens after a novel has been copy-edited and formatted.

Best for: A novel that’s had its big-picture issues resolved and is ready for a serious polish.

As part of the Stage 2 copy-edit I will:

  • Correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax.
  • Make spellings, capitalisation, hyphenation and punctuation consistent throughout: for example, if the text has both ‘recognise’ and ‘recognize’ or ‘the Internet’ and ‘the internet’.
  • Ensure that dialogue is styled and punctuated correctly.
  • Highlight unintended inconsistencies in narrative voice, point of view and tenses.
  • Highlight unintended anomalies: for example, if your main character’s best friend has green eyes in Chapter 1 but brown eyes in Chapter 17.
  • Highlight obvious factual inaccuracies or timeline impossibilities: for example, if your villain drives from Edinburgh to London in an unfeasibly fast two and a half hours.
  • Highlight obvious plot holes: for example, if a character makes a decision based on information they can’t possibly know yet.
  • Highlight unintended stylistic tics: for example, perhaps you’ve used the adjective ‘scary’ three times in a single page, or perhaps your two principal characters both ‘crack a smile’ rather too frequently.
  • Query phrasing that’s unclear, awkward, repetitive or clichéd.
  • Apply a set of basic Word styles to chapter headings and subheadings, first and subsequent paragraphs, dialogue and chapter breaks.

What you’ll get: 

  • A manuscript that’s been polished to a high professional standard so that its language is clear and elegant and a credit to your storytelling.
  • An edited file in which all the copy-edits have been made visible, using Word’s Track Changes facility, so that you can ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ each edit in turn should you choose to do so.
  • A set of Style Notes listing decisions on style conventions that have been applied consistently to the manuscript: for example, regarding hyphenation, or the use of italics or quotes for a character’s thoughts. These notes will be useful for your proofreader.
  • A Word List detailing spellings that are particular to your novel: for example, character names, place names and dialect words. This list will also help your proofreader.
  • A summary of basic Word styles applied to your manuscript ready for your formatter to interpret: for example, styles distinguishing between a main heading and a subheading. This list will be helpful when it comes to formatting your novel for publication.

Price: Between £15 and £25 per 1000 words, subject to manuscript sample and total word count.

Request a quote: Please contact me to tell me about your novel and request a quote.

Contact Me

Not sure if this is the edit for you?

I offer four different editing services for Fiction writers.


You understood the story. You empathised with the characters. You pointed out my mistakes and made suggestions without being dogmatic. You did an excellent job. I am greatly impressed by your thorough and thoughtful work on my novel.

Ifeoma Okoye, author of The Fourth World (political fiction)