Editorial Services for Fiction Writers

Manuscript Editing - Query Critiques - World-Building Consultation


Whether you're a new writer looking for your first critique or an established writer seeking help with a troublesome book, I offer a range of editorial services to help you develop and improve your fiction.

My services include developmental edits, line edits, and first draft consultation for middle grade (MG), young adult (YA), and adult novel and novella manuscripts of about 20,000 words or longer. I also offer critiques to help get your query letter, synopsis, and manuscript pages ready for submission to agents. My world-building consultation service is designed to help science fiction and fantasy writers develop the details of a believable, intriguing world.

My lifelong passion is for fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but I also love thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, and many kinds of romances. I am absolutely willing to work with authors working in or aiming for self-publishing, including queer self-published romance and erotica. I am probably not the best editor for inspirational, religious, or military fiction, or novels in verse, but feel free to get in touch if you're not sure where your story falls.

I do not offer copyediting, proofreading, or sensitivity reads.

If you're interested in my editorial services, email me at KaliWallaceEditorial@gmail.com. Tell me a bit about yourself and what you want from the editing process. Include a brief 1-2 paragraph summary of your novel, including its genre, word count, and intended audience or age range. Once we're in touch, I will likely ask to read an excerpt of the manuscript before taking on a project.



Developmental Edits


This is the service you want if you have a complete manuscript in the early stages of editing and you're ready to dig into a major story revision. The purpose of developmental edits is to identify problems such as plot holes, character inconsistencies, weak voice, confusing structure, bland setting, or slow pacing. This also includes pointing out where your story is strongest, because at this stage of revision knowing what you do well is every bit as helpful as knowing what needs work. Developmental edits involve asking detailed questions and making suggestions to help you push your novel toward being the best it can possibly be.

You will receive an annotated electronic manuscript and a 6-10 page editorial letter. You will have some time to digest the comments and editorial letter, then I'll reply to questions you have. We can do this follow-up via email, phone call, or Skype.

Developmental edits do not include line editing, copyediting, or proofreading. 



Line Edits


This is a service for manuscripts that have already been through developmental edits and are ready for serious polish prior to querying, submission, or self-publication. Line editing is the stage for identifying and fixing confusing or awkward sentences, inconsistent character voices, distracting stylistic choices, and common mistakes. The purpose of line editing is not to change your unique voice or style, but to focus on the language to make your writing shine.

You will receive an extensively annotated electronic manuscript and a 2-5 page editorial letter.

This service does not include copyediting or proofreading, nor does it include significant developmental edits. If your story could benefit from a developmental edit before it will be ready for line editing, I will let you know and we can discuss a plan of action.



First Draft Commentary and Revision Strategy


If you have a complete first draft of a novel but you have no idea where to go next, or if you have never even tried to revise a novel before, this is the service for you. A first draft commentary will provide you with overall impressions of the story, characters, setting, and voice, as well as advice on developing a revision plan for shaping your novel into the story you want it to be.

This critique is for newer writers who aren't sure how to approach revision, or for completed manuscripts at the early "I have this giant pile of words in the shape of a novel but I don't even know where to start!" stage of revisions. Your rough drafts, NaNoWriMo manuscripts, and long-neglected drawer novels don't scare me, so long as the story is complete. The first major revision of a novel is a daunting task, especially if you've never done it before. I can help you figure out how to proceed.

You will receive an annotated electronic manuscript and an encouraging 5-7 page editorial letter focused on drawing out the most compelling aspects of your story and helping you plan the next steps.

This is not a full developmental edit, nor does it include line editing, copyediting, or proofreading.



First 50 Pages Critique


If you are unsure if working with me is right for you, or if you want to polish up an excerpt for submission to agents, editors, school programs, or contests, you might want to opt for a critique on the first 50 pages of your manuscript. (Note: For this purpose pages are counted in standard manuscript format of 12-point, doubled-spaced, Times New Roman font with 1" margins.) This critique will address how to make your story quickly and effectively grab a reader's interest, how to build an emotional connection from the start, and how to polish your writing.

You will receive an annotated electronic manuscript and a 1-2 page editorial letter. If you decide to work with me for a full manuscript edit, this fee will be deducted from the total cost.


Query Letter Critique


I will read and critique your query letter, offering suggestions on how to make it concise, sharp, and memorable within the context of the standard query format.

This service includes a second round of commentary: I will also read your revised letter and offer thoughts on the changes. Subsequent rounds of critique will be provided for an additional fee of $25 each.


Complete Query Package


Includes the query letter critique as described above, plus a critique of your 1-2 page novel synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. Agents have a variety of submission requirements, and it's up to you to research what those requirements are, but I am flexible about critiquing what you need for your submission.

As above, this service includes a second round of commentary on the revised materials. Subsequent rounds of critique will be provided for an additional fee of $35 each. 



World-building Consultation

About $100

This is a specialized service for writers seeking help and guidance with the process of creating unique, believable worlds for science fiction and fantasy novels. If you feel that a lack of specialized knowledge, a wealth of ideas with too little focus, or a daunting list of questions about your world-building is keeping you from moving forward with your novel, this is the service for you.

Before I became a professional writer, I spent many years studying geology and physics. I have a Bachelors of Science in geology from Brown University and a PhD in geophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. My research was about earthquakes, mountains, and the vast forces that move continents, but as an intellectual packrat I have also dipped my toes into everything ranging from plant biology to astrophysics, ancient history to polar exploration, scientific revolutions to environmental engineering.

In other words, I am the most Ravenclaw who ever Ravenclawed, and I love to use my nerd powers to help other writers build big, bold, imaginative worlds.

Here's how it works: You provide a three- to five-page description of the world you are creating for your story, including specific problems and questions. Do you want to create a galaxy-spanning empire but don't know what that means for travel and communication? Do you want your opposing fantasy armies to start a war over natural resources but don't know what they should fight about? Do you want to build a city on a volcano or bury one beneath a glacier? Any of the things that you come across and think, "That would be so cool, if only I could figure out how to do it," that's what you send to me. You may include up to 30 double-spaced pages of your manuscript, so I can get a sense of what kind of story you are writing. 

What you get in return are answers to your questions, detailed commentary on aspects of your world, a list of resources where you can find out more, and suggestions for how you can make your world stronger, more believable, and more smoothly integrated into your story.

Note that this does not necessarily mean more realistic, as I am all in favor of writers breaking the laws of physics for the sake of a good story. But even stories that throw the rules out the window have to do it in a convincing manner.

This service can be used at any stage of the writing process, although it will be most effective if you are already working on your novel and have an idea of what you want your imaginary world to be and what your story needs from its setting.

The fee of $100 is based on 4-5 hours of reading, research, and responses. If your questions require significantly less work than that, I'll charge less. If you want significantly more from me, we can discuss that as well. We will always agree upon a fee before I begin work.


Questions? Inquiries? Ready to get to work? Contact me: