I have never met anyone who understands my writing better than Helga. She got it. She got it even more than I got it. Helga found the promise in my novel, and through her guidance, she helped the story fulfill its promise.
Michael Davis, award winning director and novelist

More on Editing

Line Editing

Line editing, often also called substantive editing, is a detailed and in-depth look at your work. This service is best for projects that have already gone through several drafts dealing with content and conceptual issues.

I will go through your manuscript armed with the proverbial red pen and make cuts, additions, and changes on a line-by-line basis. 

I may change words, phrases or entire sentences to improve the flow of your writing. I may cut words, sentences or entire paragraphs to tighten your manuscript. And I may suggest taking out or rearranging entire chapters to increase the impact of your pacing (fiction) or your argument (non-fiction).

Although this editorial phase works best if there are no more conceptual problems, I will also comment on any conceptual, structural and organizational issues that may remain.

In a phone consultation I will explain the reasoning behind my suggestions, and we will discuss any questions or concerns you might have.

Ready to take the next step? Read more.


An evaluation or critique provides a supportive yet honest and critical evaluation of your work. This is usually a good start for novice writers, or for projects that have not yet been looked at by another professional editor, and for projects that are still in development.

I will read your manuscript and make comments in the margins, telling you what works, what needs to be improved, changed, added, cut or shortened. An additional written critique aims at an overall evaluation of your work that will provide a framework for my comments on the pages. Once you’ve looked at my comments and the written critique, we will discuss ways to incorporate my suggestions into your vision of your work.

If you’re writing fiction, we’ll discuss elements such as plot, character development, continuity, structure, pacing and overall impression. I may suggest changes in plot development, give you tips on how to enhance your characters, make general comments on your writing (narrative and dialogue), all meant to help you achieve your goals as a writer.

If you’re writing non-fiction, we’ll discuss structure, pacing, argument, thesis, style and approach to make sure that your message comes across to the audience you’ve intended. And of course, we’ll discuss whether the writing style is appropriate to your subject matter and your audience.

This service offers a conceptual overhaul and creative guidance for your project. Some writers have come to me with a finished draft, some with an unfinished manuscript, and some even with little more than a great idea for a short story, a novel, or a non-fiction project. No matter where you are in the creative process, I can offer guidance, support and editorial advice every step of the way.

Ready to take the next step? Read more.

Call 310.828.8421 or click


Copyediting focuses on spelling, punctuation, grammar and more technical issues such as formatting.

I will make sure that your manuscript contains no more mistakes. I will use the proverbial red pen and fix any  grammar, spelling and punctuation issues or inconsistencies. I will  make sure that ‘Allan’ is always ‘Allan,’ and not sometimes ‘Allen’ or even ‘Ellen.’  This service aims to give your manuscript the final polishing touch to get it ready for an agent or a publisher. If we’ve already gone through the evaluation and/or substantative editing process together, this will most likely never be necessary, as I aim to pick up these problems along the way. 

Ready to take the next step? Read more.