Editor’s Pencil

I'm developing a new programme for writers - check it out here:

Fully Booked

Do you need an editor to help you get the best out of the book you've written?
Or maybe just a fresh set of eyes to read through your manuscript and help you improve it?

"Without Elle Neal, I would never have come this far. The words that craft this story would never be as they are now without her aid and marvelous input as my editor. Her insights and wise reflections continue to grace me with wisdom even now. I once feared my dyslexia like a haunting shadow that lurked over my desire to be an author, but, thanks to Elle, that fear crumbled. She made me believe that I am capable of writing great stories even with clipped wings. Thank you, Elle, for sharing your time and the gift of your skills."

Kylie Leane, author of Key

Lost-Explorer-Michael-Woods"Thank you so much for your peer critique... I really hadn't expected such a detailed response. I am immensely grateful to you for the good, solid advice you have given. You only had a small excerpt to work with, yet you understood perfectly the problem I'm having... I'm considering all the possibilities you suggested.

"Your comments concerning the prologue are spot on and easily put right; yet I would never, never have seen it had you not pointed it out. Thanks.

"You've given me a great deal to think about. And a lot to work on. It goes almost without saying, I should like to submit further excerpts and possibly the final draft in due course.

Michael Woods, author of The Lost Explorer

I'm an author and freelance developmental editor based in Melbourne, Australia, and the former Fiction Writing editor for BellaOnline. I have experience writing, editing, and proofreading for markets all over the world, and I have an eye for the differences between Australian, UK, and American English. I can help you rework your story for a global market.

I offer three types of editing service: developmental editing, critique, and intensive editing. I am skilled at working with what an author has already created and, like a jeweller, bringing the lustre of your precious gem to the surface. While my rates might seem a little higher than other editors, this is because I don't charge again and again for reading through multiple rewrites of the entire book. I find that working closely together chapter by chapter results in a single-pass edit with perhaps a few additions and scene rewrites.

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is also known as substantive editing. I will help you with your plot, characterisation, narrative, structure, and point of view. I will also correct spelling and grammar errors and improve your sentence structure as I go. I will be reading your book for sense and continuity, not necessarily for errors, though I have a very high catch rate for errors. As an editor, I will make changes directly to your text (using Track Changes so that you can reject any you do not agree with), but I will offer explanations for my decisions.

Rate: US$0.02 per word


A critique is a great option for a tighter budget, and/or a confident writer with strong grammar skills. Rather than changing your text as I would with a full edit, I use Word's Comments option to make suggestions for improvement. As with developmental editing, I can help you improve your plot, characterisation, narrative, structure, and point of view, but, since I am not fixing these issues for you, you will have to do the work yourself to edit your manuscript.

Rate: US$0.009 per word (i.e., US$9 per 1000 words)

Intensive Editing

Intensive editing is ideal for you if you struggle with grammar and/or battle with point of view and other aspects of writing. Perhaps you had a great idea for a book and you've written a first draft, but now you need someone to polish it into a real gem. As with developmental editing, I will fix weaknesses in your plot, characterisation, narrative, structure, and point of view switches (head-hopping). Intensive editing may also include some short passages of ghost-writing - mainly to give you examples of how to improve your writing and help to inspire your own ideas.

Rate: US$0.05 per word

I can accept payments via PayPal. I offer a 2% discount for upfront payment in advance (at no risk to you since I offer a 30-day money-back guarantee), but we can work chapter by chapter if finances are tight or if you want a sample edit before you commit to the full manuscript.

If you'd like to find out more about me, spend some time exploring my website. Start with my blog, and my fiction writing articles, other articles, and book reviews. You can also visit my author website, ElleCarterNeal.com. I think these pages will tell you more about me than I can here. You might also want to read my Privacy policy.

Ready? Email me and we can discuss your needs:
ecn AT hearwritenow DOT com

"Your ability to isolate the pivotal points of the novel and show how they can be improved is nothing short of astonishing."

Michael Woods, author of The Lost Explorer


"It's really great the way you caught small yet significant details...  You got me hooked on your services.  I will be bugging you again!"

Brad Metge, author of Family Secrets

"I can't believe how helpful it is to have my work picked apart the way you've done it. What I learned from your critiques about my writing was just as valuable as the hundreds of dollars I spent on "How-To" books on writing.

"It's one thing to review the examples from real world examples of literature in those books, but it's entirely different and much more helpful to have the weaknesses of my own writing shown to me. I'm really glad I chose to use your service."

Paul Perron

"Elsa has critiqued many of my stories. She has a real eye for plot and character motivation and can see clearly when you've gone astray. Her grammar is spot on as well. Thanks to her, my story "The Rich People's School" appeared in the prestigious U.K. based literary magazine, Mslexia [and has now been published in the collection of short stories In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories]. I would highly recommend her."

Lauri Kubuitsile - author of In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories (HopeRoad Publishing, 2011), Can He Be the One? (Sapphire Press, 2011), and Signed, Hopelessly in Love (Tafelberg, 2011)

"Your work was exactly what I needed and I really appreciate your quick reply. My only concern now is how I go about my revisions, or in fact a complete rewrite! But that’s my problem and you were expert enough to be thorough and cruel to be kind which is professional of you. I would like to send you future work if you will accept.

"Your comments showed a thorough professional job where you thought a great deal about the story and how it can be improved. It was obvious that you did not just skimp over the words. You met my expectations for a thorough evaluation, your promptness of reply and considerate feedback. I would highly recommend you and hope to adjust my work to your standards.

"You may quote me as others should be encouraged to use your site."

J Lucas