This is helpful for writers who benefit from having an accountability partner, structure, or an attentive reader to provide consistent feedback and guidance. Some coaching clients prefer working with me to plan and layout their book or manuscript.
This involves a read-through of a completed piece. The author is provided with line notes on the written work and a detailed letter analyzing what is working and what is problematic helping the author determine how to revise and deepen the manuscript.
Developmental (or Substantive) Editing
This type of edit addresses structural issues, including organization, pacing, what needs to be cut, expanded, or developed. It also addresses narrative issues, such as plot, sequencing, pacing, point of view, dialogue, scene construction, character and story development, transitions, and other overarching craft issues regarding how well the book "reads."
Developmental editing is most advantageous when a first draft is complete. However, many first time authors find that the middle part of their books can be tricky or tedious, and by working with a developmental editor, they can get through the middle or connect the beginning and end sections with greater efficiency.
Line Editing or Copyediting
This service ensures that a consistency of style throughout the manuscript; that spelling is correct in accordance with an approved dictionary, such as Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary; that grammar, syntax, and punctuation are proper; and that minor language repetition is corrected. Formatting errors and inconsistencies are addressed, and (as needed) tables of contents, footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographies are developed.
Freelance Writing Services & Blogging for Businesses
As a financial writer and management consultant, I produced clear, concise management reports under tight deadlines. and budgets. I wrote for financial, managerial, and business publications aimed at various audience strata, and assisted my clients with their communications needs.
Let's discuss how I might be of service to you.
"Jean is a meticulous reader and a sharp-eyed editor. Her suggestions are astute. When she points out an awkward construction or a poor word choice, she often goes beyond a correction and points to an alternative, but she never overrides the writer’s unique style. She is generous with her time and clearly cares about the work. I highly recommend her." Gail Seneca
"Jean, the gifted developmental editor who enlivened and enriched my memoir about surviving lymphoma, was simultaneously efficient and in-depth. Generous in pointing out strengths, she did not shy away from identifying areas where rewriting or rethinking was required. Her astute insights have shown me how to write with more depth, clarity, and compassion than I’d imagined I could. Jean’s gifts go beyond editing into the realm of teacher, psychiatrist, mentor, friend, and even muse." Susan Keller
“Jean has edited my historical fiction for several years. As a reader, she is genuinely eager to experience a writer's latest work. As an editor, she is honest and to the point but without the 'tough love' lesser editors employ. She'll praise your carefully crafted metaphor for its melodious and unique wording before noting that it doesn't fit your character or time period. She's an accomplished line and copy editor who excels as a developmental editor ensuring your characters embrace and fulfil your story's theme. I encourage authors who are serious about improving their writing to take advantage of Jean's editing and coaching skills in fiction as well as memoir and personal essays.” Jo Haraf
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Developmental, Line & Copy Editor
Jean Harkee Mansen
After a successful career in finance and management consulting, Jean turned to her first love-words. A graduate of UC Berkeley's Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing (with an emphasis in both fiction and non-fiction), she studies the works of the masters to improve her writing and critiques.
As a developmental and line editor, she has worked with memoir and personal essay authors, as well as writers publishing contemporary, young adult, and historical fiction.
Jean read her fiction at LitQuake (San Francisco's literary festival) and has contributed regular columns to Marin Independent Journal and JagGazette. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Leasing Monitor and San Francisco Business Times.
Jean is an active supporter and participant in the literary community. A former board member of the Marin branch of The California Writers Club and past editor of its newsletter, Marin Writes!, Jean is a member of the Bay Area Editors' Forum, the Editorial Freelancers Association, Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), and Left Coast Writers.
Contact me for a sample edit and a consultation (at no charge). Let's discuss how working with a writing coach or editor can elevate your writing to its highest potential and streamline your path to publication. Please fill in the form and I will contact you ASAP.
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"Jean is a founding member of the Embark Editorial Agency and has been critical to its start-up success. As a copy editor, she has proven to be smart, eagle-eyed, highly knowledgeable, and adept at building positive and productive relationships with authors. As a writer herself, Jean understands the creative process and is a valuable collaborator for fiction and nonfiction authors alike." Lorna Partington Walsh, Founder, Ideal Type, LLC
"As the editor for 1000 Words, Jean works in close collaboration with our authors to perfect their prose for publication. Sensitive to authors’ hopes, she responds to all submissions with compliments and critiques. I’m honored to have such a skilled and generous expert on our team." Jo M. Haraf, Publisher, 1000 Words Press