Below you can see all stages of editing for Quanuquanei Karmue’s memoir, Witness, which I had the privilege of reviewing for content, style, and polish.
His raw and gripping childhood story of civil war in Liberia offered me a chance to take readers into his family’s journey with more consistency and concision, in addition to honing diction for an American reader and creating chapter organizations that heightened suspense and character arcs.
Witness was published by Sugar Hill Press in 2018.
The first stage of developmental editing: after reading the full book to understand the story and characters, I provided in-text edits and comments using Track Changes.
Custom Style Sheet: Story Feedback
As I edit with track changes, I keep a custom style sheet on the book’s story, including:
» Keeping track of characters‘ names, ages, and relationships;
» Tracking character arc and development consistency;
» Ensuring time and place consistency, including seasons, weather, distances, physical descriptions, names of cities;
» Fact-checking historical events, real place names, and dates;
» Ensuring word usage consistency and culturally appropriate idioms (American vs. British English, etc.)
Custom Style Sheet: Formatting
Near the final phase of developmental editing, I adjust and correct the document’s formatting, including:
» page numbers
» front matter
» spacing and alignment
» chapter titles
Published Memoir: Witness
After several rounds of editing and collaboration, Witness is complete with a revised organization, more fully developed characters, a new epilogue, and polish.