About the Darling Axe
We are professional editors as well as award-winning writers. We understand the intense effort and emotional investment you have poured into your work. It's our job to help you realize your vision and take your manuscript to the next level.
The Darling Axe is an open-minded, forward-thinking group. Our editors are interested in literary as well as genre fiction. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that your manuscript will be handled with respect.
Free sample edit and quote
Are you ready to get started?
We will review the first 5000 words of your manuscript and get back to you with a ~1000-word sample edit and quote, usually within a few days.
We offer narrative development and editing services for every stage of your manuscript's journey to publication.
THE FORGE: NARRATIVE ASSESSMENT
This service is ideal for early-draft manuscripts, partial manuscripts, and novel outlines. We provide you with a thorough analysis, giving special attention to your hook, structure, plot, character arcs, and overall narrative appeal.
THE FOUNDRY: DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING
In our developmental edit, we take a close look at your plot, characters, relationship arcs, perspective, and voice. In addition to a written critique, you receive a marked-up copy of your manuscript with comments added throughout, including scene-level feedback and pointers for recurring grammatical or mechanical issues.
THE WORKSHOP: LINE EDITING
In our workshop, we sharpen your manuscript line by line, with special attention to grammar, style, clarity, repetition, and word choice. We aim to maintain your voice as we refine your prose. Also included in this service is a customized style sheet.
THE STUDIO: PROOFREADING
Enter the studio for your final round of editing. One of our technical editors joins the project at this stage to ensure your manuscript is free of errors, and to double check the text against your style guide. We also offer a first-pass proofreading service for manuscripts that have been line edited elsewhere.
THE EXHIBIT: QUERY CRITIQUE
So you're ready to showcase your work to agents and publishers. Our query critique includes a workshop of your query letter and a close look at your synopsis and first 5,000 words.
THE CROW'S NEST: HOOK ASSESSMENT
This is an abridged version of our narrative-assessment service. From the heights of the crow's nest, we take a look at your first 10,000 words. Most readers need to be captivated within the first forty pages, so our goal is to help you polish your opening and sharpen your hook.
Tara Gilboy, Author of Unwritten
I don’t know what I would do without Michelle’s keen and insightful feedback. Michelle both offers support and asks the tough questions that will push you to make your manuscript better.
Nikki Vogel, Author of Tamalinn Found
I have had the pleasure of working with both Michelle and David. No matter the genre, they approached each novel with complete focus. Every comment and suggestion they provided improved my manuscripts, from the big picture to the finest detail of word choice.
K.I. Press, Author of Types of Canadian Women
It’s daunting to transition from poetry to fiction, and I was grateful to have David’s careful editorial voice soothing me through the anxiety of first readership.