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 take your manuscript to the next level.
The Darling Axe offers narrative development, editing, and coaching services for every stage of your manuscript's journey to publication.
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.
THE FORGE: COACHING & NARRATIVE ASSESSMENT
This fully customizable service is ideal for early-draft manuscripts, partials, stuck manuscripts, and novel outlines—and even would-be outlines. Your editor will support and guide you toward your next revision.
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 with this service is a customized style guide.
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 few options, including 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 a partial developmental edit. 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.
THE WHETSTONE: SHORT FICTION OVERHAUL
This customizable service includes a combination developmental edit and line edit with a follow-up revision review. Work closely with one of our short story specialists to fine-tune your arcs and prose.
Greg Schaffer, Author of Childhood
I feel I've taken one (or more) grad-level courses in fiction development because of Michelle's help.
Nikki Vogel, Author of Tamalinn Found
I have had the pleasure of working with both Michelle and David. Every comment and suggestion they provided improved my manuscripts, from the big picture to the finest detail of word choice.
C. J. Adrien, Author of The Lords of the Wind
The quality of work was outstanding. The Darling Axe did a terrific job of correcting (or should I say improving) my writing to publishing standards.