Structural Editing

Structural editing is important for both fiction and non-fiction books, as it ensures your storyline or information flow is logical, cohesive, consistently and effectively paced, etc.

If you are considering having your novel edited structurally we highly recommend you undertake a manuscript assessment first.

A structural edit will look at

Chapter length
Are they consistent? Are they too short? Too long? Etc.

Word count
Not enough? Too many? Based on an average word count for your genre we will discuss if you need to cut words and where would be the best place to do this. If your count is too short, we may suggest opportunities to extend. Our focus is on content; what is the right amount of content, but sometimes work count is a good measure to explain inconsistencies and an out-of-balance feel one gets while reading.

Plot (for fiction only)
Is it believable? Are there any holes? Are there unnecessary side-plots? Do all the loose ends get tied up? Does it follow a good arc? Etc.

Perspective
Fiction:
Does your book take place from the right perspective? Have you got too many perspectives in your book? Not enough? Is it clear whose perspective we’re in?

Non-fiction:
Is your book in first person? If it is are you the right person to be talking about this topic? Should it be in third person instead?

Voice
Fiction:
Are the voices of your characters and/or the narrator appropriate?
Are they consistent?
Are you telling your story in the best voice? (1st, 2nd, 3rd person)

Non-fiction:
Is the voice you have used too formal, too casual or too biased to be considered an authority on this subject?

Language
Is your language use appropriate for your intended audience?

Pacing
Does your novel ebb and flow well? How fast do things happen? In one example, does it take too long for things to start happening?

Characters
We will analyse each major and minor characters for appropriate levels of characterisation, description, consistency and usefulness to the plot.

Setting
Is your setting right for the novel? Have you spent too much time describing it, or too little? Etc.

Continuity

Have you ever seen a character in a movie wearing a hat in one shot but not in the next? Or maybe their hair changed, or the position of an arm moved. These are called continuity errors, and they happen in text as well.

We will look out for any errors in continuity. This could mean you’ve changed the name of a character halfway through, or perhaps a character has blonde hair in chapter one, but by chapter eleven her hair is brown. Perhaps your setting changes unexpectedly, the time of day magically changes or a character turns up in a scene they weren’t in.

Referencing (non-fiction only)
We will check to see if you’ve used a consistent reference style, make sure you substantiate any big claims, ensure references are formatted consistently, etc.

A structural edit does not include checking your sources. This can be included in a line edit upon request.

How we work:

With a structural edit, your editor will read your book from cover to cover and make notes regarding the above directly on the manuscript. You will also be provided with an extensive (10–15 pages) report of suggestions and commentary.

A structural edit does not include

  • Proofreading for grammar and spelling (but we will tell you if you’re making any major errors over and over)
  • Commentary on your book’s saleability
  • Commentary on design
  • Line by line sentence editing (this happens next, line editing)
  • Fact checking

What you do with your structural edit
Once you have your structural edit back, you are free to either accept or reject the changes we have suggested. Keep in mind, we would not have made a suggestion for no reason. If you want to reject a change, query us first, you may change your mind, or you may change ours!

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info@australianebookpublisher.com.au

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