Editing Services

Fable Communications offers four levels of editing services: full edit, developmental edit, copyedit, and proofread.


English is often flexible enough that an author may choose among several correct ways to express a thought, punctuate a sentence, or arrange a paragraph. I believe style choices belong to the author, not the editor. The author decides whether to accept or reject the changes I recommend, using a collaborative and educational, sometimes iterative, process. The author is responsible for choosing; the editor is responsible for ensuring the author’s choice is correct.

Choosing a Service

First, think about the level of change you want.

  • If you need someone to ensure your content is coherent, cohesive, and correct, you likely need a full edit.
  • If you need someone to ensure your content is consistent throughout and has the best structure, you likely need a developmental edit.
  • If you need someone to ensure your grammar, punctuation, and syntax is correct, you likely need a copyedit.
  • If you need someone to review your final draft to ensure it’s as error free as possible (though nothing is ever perfect), you likely need a proofread.

Full Edit

A full edit is the most extensive review of a work. It generally includes working very closely with the author to determine the author’s objectives both for the work and for the editing of the work, and how best to reach the author’s intended audience. When editing, our job is to improve clarity, structure, flow, wording, organization, and voice. Editing a piece requires judgment as well as expertise. Depending on the piece, editing may include rewording and reorganizing.

A full edit is a review of an author’s content; it is not a review of grammar and spelling.

Writers want to tell a story; editors ensure the story flows well.

Developmental Edit

A developmental edit ensures that a piece is consistent throughout. Inconsistencies creep into writing in several ways

  • you’re writing a long piece, and it’s difficult to maintain constancy throughout
  • you’ve worked on the piece over time – maybe even sporadically
  • you’ve had input from a variety of sources or writers.

Regardless of how it happened, inconsistency muddles a piece and confuses readers.

Developmental editing corrects discrepancies (like naming your main character Henrietta in the first chapter but calling her Harriet in the tenth chapter); it does not correct grammar, punctuation, or syntax.

Writers want to tell a story; developmental editors ensure the story is consistent.


A light copyedit is a review of grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, syntax, and typographical errors. It requires a meticulous eye for detail.

A heavy copyedit includes all the elements of a light copyedit but adds some attention to style and organization. Copyediting a technical piece might include such work as ensuring graphics and exhibits match their captions.

Copyediting is a review of an author’s correct use of language; it is not a review of content.

Writers want to tell a story; copyeditors ensure they tell that story using proper English employing a steady style.


Proofreading is the final check of a written work before publication, after editing and copyediting. Proofreading is crucial because it is the last opportunity to make needed changes, including errors that may inadvertently be introduced in the editing or copyediting process. I provide three types of proofreading: mechanical, design and layout, or comprehensive.

A mechanical proofread minimizes spelling, punctuation, grammar, and typographical errors. A proofreader must be an expert in the use of language.

A design and layout proofread minimizes formatting errors. A proofreader should be meticulously detail oriented to spot even small flaws such as two spaces between words.

A comprehensive proofread is a combination of both mechanical and design and layout proofreading.

Proofreading is the final review of a piece to minimize errors; it does not include input on structure, cohesion, content, or consistency, and the proofreader is not responsible for major changes to the piece.

Writers want to tell a story; proofreaders ensure the story has as few mechanical or grammatical errors as possible.