Crafting Your Story, Your BookSM

Manuscript Evaluation — Developmental, Content, and Line Editing

As a wordsmith and editor I devote my developmental and compositional skills to assist you with crafting your book-length manuscript, article, or speech. From beginning to end we work together as a team. After reading this page, I invite you to contact me to introduce yourself, pose any questions you may have, or submit a brief summary of your writing proposal.

If you have a draft of your memoir or autobiography, I provide manuscript evaluation and content editing in preparation for publication. If you are just beginning to conceptualize it, I work with you through the stages of development until your book is completed.

If you have a draft of your book or a portion of it within the categories of biography, history, psychology, philosophy, theology, or religion, I offer manuscript evaluation, developmental, content, and line editing. 

When publishing under my own name as author or editor, grants or publisher advances may fund these projects.

I do not edit or ghostwrite high school or college/university undergraduate or graduate papers to fulfill course requirements, nor edit theses and dissertations except for post-degree publication. Your publisher normally provides copyediting. If you are self-publishing you may want to hire a freelance copyeditor, who serves a different purpose than a developmental, content, and line editor.

The Process

Proposal Summary → Worksheet+Outline+Sample Chapters → Acceptance Letter+Price Quotation+Optional Sample Edit → Contract → Editing → Revisions → Completed Manuscript

(1) You email me a brief summary of your proposal. Please include your phone number and suggested daytime or evening hours for me to reach you for follow-up conversation.

(2) I send you a worksheet to be completed for a review of your project. If you already have a draft of part or all of your book, you submit an outline along with two or three sample chapters (as a Word doc in Times New Roman 12-pt font).

(3) You receive a letter from me indicating whether your project has been accepted. If so, the letter includes a detailed price quotation based upon the current fee schedule and the categories of editing required. You have the option of requesting a sample edit of a portion of your manuscript before contracting for the entire project. The fee for the sample edit is applied to the project fee should you decide to proceed.

(4) We sign a contract setting forth the nature, scope, and terms of payment for the work to be performed.

(5) If your contract calls for developmental or content editing of your current draft, you will receive the edited text in increments for your review. Throughout the entire process you and I remain in conversation about the progress of your book since collaboration is vital to achieving the result you desire.

(6) Upon its completion your edited manuscript is emailed to you for submission to an agent or publisher. After the publisher completes the copyediting, formatting, and typesetting, then you may employ me to proofread the final PDF version prior to printing and publication if the service is not provided in-house. Proofreading is also available in the event you self-publish rather than engage a full-service publisher. My proofreading service is limited to clients for whom I have performed developmental, content, or line editing.

See the testimonials below from persons whose manuscripts I have edited. Know that I am personally committed to your achieving your highest quality of writing.

About Charles Davidson

My publications include George Buttrick’s Guide to Preaching the Gospel (Abingdon Press, August 2020) and Bone Dead, and Rising: Vincent van Gogh and the Self Before God (Cascade Books, 2011), a theological and psychological biography of Van Gogh’s life and art, as well as articles, essays, poetry, commentary, and educational curricula appearing in Pastoral Psychology(1)(2)Theology Today, The Journal of Presbyterian History, Adult Discovery, Christian Education Shared Approaches, Presbyterian Outlook, Self Psychology News, and Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics. I received a Bachelor of Arts in English, philosophy, and religion from Hampden-Sydney College; a Master of Divinity in biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral studies, and Master of Theology in the history of Christianity from Union Presbyterian Seminary; and a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral counseling and psychotherapy from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. I served as pastor of Presbyterian (USA) congregations in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia; a clinician with Pastoral Counseling Services of Central Virginia in Lynchburg; an adjunct instructor of philosophy at Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI, and of philosophy and theology at St. Mary’s College, Orchard Lake, MI; and undergraduate professor of history and the Darrel Rollins graduate professor of pastoral theology, care, and counseling at Virginia University of Lynchburg. I live in Asheville, North Carolina.


“When things began to get a bit tangled in my mind, and I felt I was unsure of a clear perspective in evaluating the manuscript draft of my project, Charlie Davidson was able to show how it needed to be pulled together and reset in clear, revealing ideas and examples. He seems to be able to do this with ease. He has got it in him to provide editing that opens up all kinds of new, coherent, explicit language and structure, and his personal and professional support was critical for me in the successful completion of the book. I highly recommend him.” —Douglas Heidt, The Love That Will Not Let You Go: Being Christian Is Not What You Think

“I had a lovely experience [as a guest contributor] participating in Charles’ blog, Life Turnings. He is a kind gentleman and a gifted editor. He knows how to apply just the right bit of polish to bring out the best in his writers’ works.” —Debra Wesselmann, Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children 

“Approachable, excellent writer, good listener; gets to the ‘kernel’ of the matter quickly; the glass is always half full, not half empty. When I had a writing project he was one to whom I turned for editorial advice. I found his suggestions most helpful and encouraging.” —Walter Smith, Learning to Forgive: A Memoir of Doubt and Faith

“I worked with Charles when he was publishing Life Turnings as a regular blog [with guest contributors]. The value of engaging him as an editor is that he not only has good editing skills, but he is also supportive of the writer. So if you want a good editor who also cares about you as a person, I recommend you contact him.” —Stephen McCutchan, A Star and a Tear

Click here to contact Charles