Wells Editing offers a range of services to help writers where they need it most. I enjoy working on a variety of projects—

  • Novels and short stories
  • Creative nonfiction
  • Memoir and biography
  • Personal essays
  • General nonfiction—travel, nature, music, food, family, history, art, technology

What kind of editorial help are you looking for?


Developmental editing, also known as substantive editing, is a thorough analysis of a project’s strengths and weaknesses in all areas of the work. Story, structure, narrative flow, theme, characters, voice, language, dialogue, setting, and mechanical elements such as spelling and punctuation are some but not all areas to be considered.

A developmental approach from Wells Editing is a comprehensive, written evaluation of your first draft and one or two revised drafts, as laid out in the scope of work. Where I see weaknesses, I’ll try to make a clear case for every recommendation and offer a number of suggestions and options for revision. Where I see strengths, I’ll highlight your good writing and beg for more.

While developmental editing isn’t geared toward correcting every mistake in spelling and punctuation, I will flag obvious errors and note any patterns that need attention.

Ongoing support will be available by phone or email.

Line editing strengthens the readability and impact of any project. Focused on the paragraph and sentence levels, line editing will improve both the work at hand and your overall writing skills. A line editor examines the rhythm and flow of the words, weeds out passive construction, and suggests ways to tighten or expand the work to its ideal length.

On its own, line editing is best suited to shorter pieces, such as articles and essays. Within the developmental process, I consider line editing a necessary part of the whole.

Copyediting engages the editor’s eye for detail to polish the mechanics, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and presentation of the piece while maintaining the author’s unique voice. A copyeditor (CE) flags factual errors and inconsistencies, such as dates, names, locations, forms of address, etc.

The backbone of copyediting is the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition.

A caveat:

I can work as a copyeditor or as a developmental editor, but not both on the same project. More on this in a short discussion, “Hemispheres.”


You may not be ready for a full-blown edit but need help bringing your story to life. You might have a great first chapter or first act, and you know how you want it to end, but it’s just not coming together.

With story development, we’ll explore the foundations of storytelling—structure, character journeys, linear and nonlinear timelines, and more—and brainstorm multiple “what if” scenarios until you find the one that clicks.

Whatever stage your work is in, I’m here to help.

For rate information, please see my Fee schedule.

Pictured left: Cannon Beach, Oregon