Manuscript Doctoring, Book Coaching, Exquisite Editing

  • Do you have an almost finished manuscript that needs some TLC?
  • Is your completed manuscript suffering from the blahs?
  • Do you have a proposal that needs perking up?
  • Do your words need resuscitating?
  • Would you like your project to progress from okay to outstanding, average to exceptional?

Leslie’s word smithing skills, delicate syntax surgery, intricate idea enhancement, and ability to retain your writing voice will give your manuscript a thorough check up and new lease on life, resulting in a clean bill of health.

First Steps

Leslie will ask you to send three pages from your manuscript for a free demo of her work, providing a sampling of how she thinks and writes, and the kinds of changes she will make. This provides an opportunity to determine whether or not the two of you will make a good match.

Leslie's Process

In essence, her work is transformational. Leslie specializes in gentle, “delicately invasive cosmetic word surgery.”

She has a talent for finding the right word, carving out a poignant or punchy phrase, and tweaking titles into attention getters. Her editing is light and delicate, or extensive, deep, and broad, as required. All of her changes are subject to the author’s discretion as to which are acceptable or not.

Leslie is gifted with a natural ability to retain the author’s voice so the tone is consistent throughout the book or proposal. This is one of the aspects her clients truly appreciate.

She works onscreen, using MS Word’s “track changes” tool.

Leslie likes to return the altered manuscript a chapter at a time, so the author can be working on the changes while Leslie forges ahead. An entire book may take four weeks to four months, depending on her schedule and the extent of editing required.

All copy goes through two passes; the first pass involves major changes, and the second is a proofreading (self-check) pass before sending the content back to the client. As Leslie is not an expert in MS Word, there may be occasional spacing errors, which are an easy fix.

Having had extensive media coverage, Leslie encourages her authors to write with the media in mind. For example, how does a title fall on the ear? Eye appeal (how a title looks on the cover or reads) is only one aspect of its efficacy. The title has to come across aurally as well, especially if the author plans on media promotion.

Leslie helps her authors create tip sheets, quizzes, checklists, or self-tests in their books because they are handy for media interviews or articles.


  • Two books published by major houses
  • Five self-published books
  • Successories purchased partial rights to one of Leslie’s books.

These experiences enable her to offer suggestions on writing, editing, formatting, book and cover design, use of typefaces, and other intricacies of creating a quality product.

What her clients have to say

Leslie, I’m in the middle of revising chapter 2 based on your comments and I am so deeply touched at your care in crafting these rewrites. You’ve made this SUCH A BETTER BOOK, and me a BETTER STORYTELLER! I’m going through the dolphin story and am inspiring myself! Here I am again, reading and incorporating your edits and once again I am i… Read more
Mary MarcdanteAuthor of “Living With Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life”

What she can do for you

If you are a new (or worn out) writer who knows your proposal, manuscript or self-published book needs some polish, if you have good ideas but can’t quite finesse them, or if you are grappling with the written word and don’t know what to do next, the doctor is in!

Leslie Charles offers creative and extensive content editing. Her abilities include:

  • adding intellectual capital to your existing ideas
  • enhancing your original concepts or expanding your ideas
  • adding new, relevant examples
  • finessing turns of phrase
  • substituting everyday words for eye catching or melodic ones
  • jazzing up chapter titles and headers
  • improving grammar
  • fact checking, if needed
  • clarifying incomplete ideas
  • adding tip sheets, quizzes, and checklists for reader involvement
  • adding subtle humor when appropriate
  • threading disconnected thoughts
  • smoothing out and polishing the entire project
  • maintaining your writing voice with transparent editing
  • consulting on format, book and cover design if needed

Leslie’s skill set includes both micro and macro editing: correct word usage, grammar, alliteration, metaphor, imagery, rhyme, rhythm, and punctuation.

She specializes in self-help and other nonfiction works by adding clarity, precision, compelling text, and ease of reading. She also provides coaching notes throughout the process, which means you will learn a good deal about your writing style and how to enhance your innate abilities as a writer.

Word Smithing for Speakers, Too

In addition to proposal and book rewriting services Leslie also helps professional speakers enhance their program descriptions and titles to better reflect the sum and substance of their message, their expertise, and method of delivery, from serious to hilarious.