Katherine Knotts

Freelance writer, editor & coach

You want your words to change the world. I can help.
You know good writing when you see it. Good writing grabs you by the heart, and changes the way you view the landscape. Good writing is also harder than it looks to pull off. Worse still, it's nearly impossible to objectively look at your own stuff to see whether you've hit the mark.

A good editor is a thought-partner, engaging with authors on a strategic and technical level to make sure their writing is fit for purpose. That's where I come in.

WHAT THE PROCESS LOOKS LIKE

All written work goes through four standard phases: developmental editing, substantive editing, copy editing and proofreading. Another set of eyeballs on your work is essential at every stage. I often work with authors on more than one level, usually over subsequent drafts.


Moving from idea to outline

 

DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING

WHAT I DO: Help you to define, refine, and organise your vision into a coherent whole. Along the way, we'll talk about what you're trying to achieve, and for whom.

WHAT YOU END UP WITH:
A detailed outline of your writing project in line with your audience, objectives and resources.


Stepping back from the first draft

 

SUBSTANTIVE EDITING

WHAT I DO: Focus on what you are saying and how. Are your ideas clear, complete, compelling? What's missing? I will suggest changes to structure, organisation, theme development, use of narrative, point of view, style, rhythm, language and flow.

WHAT YOU END UP WITH: Detailed comments on how to improve your piece. Not only will I suggest what needs to be changed, but why. That means you're more likely to nail it the next time around.


The fine-tuning stage

 

COPY EDITING

WHAT I DO: Make changes directly into the text to make it fit for purpose. At this stage, I'm thinking about message delivery, rather than message content. I'm looking to make your writing tight, snappy; I want you to look good on the page.

WHAT YOU END UP WITH: A document full of track changes to review, and comments/queries to address as needed.


Down to the nitty-gritty

 

PROOFREADING

WHAT I DO: Remind you that in a crowded marketplace of ideas, presentation matters. If your text is riddled with errant apostrophes you'll lose credibility sooner than you can say "malapropism". A lot of publishers use an in-house proofing team to bring submissions in line with their house style. If you're self-publishing, don't skip the final polish.

WHAT YOU END UP WITH: A text that has received the fine-tooth comb treatment, and that would make your English teacher proud.