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First impressions edit

Get ahead of the rest

Why does my manuscript needs a first impressions edit?

'You only get once chance to make a first impression.'

That saying is never more true than when it comes to attracting the interest of a literary agent. Inundated as they are with manuscripts from aspiring novelists, agents have to be pretty strict on how much time they can devote to new writers.

Few agents want you to send them your complete manuscript in the first instance. The common practice is to ask for the opening section of your book so they can assess whether it is worth asking to see more.

If your budget won't stretch to a copy- and line-edit of the whole novel, my first impressions edit provides a cost-effective way of helping you present the crucial initial pages of your novel in the best light.

Refine and polish

I will refine and polish the first 10,000 words of your book to help you attract the attention of an editor.

My combined copy- and line-editing service will ensure that the characters, plots and settings you’ve created flow seamlessly from your imagination onto the page – ready to delight and enthral your readers.

Whereas the development edit focussed on the story you wanted to tell, this stage hones in on the way you tell it, removing anything that could be a distraction to the compelling narrative you’ve spent so long crafting.


Working with diligence and great attention to detail I will identify and resolve issues that could create a bad impression.

The areas I will address include:

  • Spelling

  • Punctuation

  • Grammar

  • Syntax

  • Semantics

  • Hyphenation

  • Capitalisation

  • Tenses

  • Numbers (spelt out or numerals?)

  • UK or American English

  • Serial (or Oxford) comma

  • Repetition

  • Overwriting and inelegant phraseology

  • Presentation of dialogue (including punctuation, tags and action beats)

  • Cliches and inappropriate metaphors

  • Pace

  • Jeopardy

  • Timeline

  • Inconsistencies with characters (including behaviour and dialogue)

  • Layout (e.g. spacing, chapter headings)

  • Chapter and page numbering

What will I receive?

I will provide you with an edited version of the first 10,000 words of your novel, using Track Changes to show all the amends I have made and comment boxes to raise additional queries.

In addition I will supply you with an editorial report to provide an overview of the work I have done and style sheet to confirm the editorial choices that have been employed.


The edited manuscript will be provided as a Microsoft Word document. Please supply all your novel in one document.

How much does a first impressions edit cost?

All of my prices are based on the rates suggested by the Chartered Institute for Editors and Proofreaders.


As the time taken to complete the project will depend on the amount of work involved, please send me 1,000 words from the middle of your novel to enable me to provide a quote.

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