© 2018 — Modern Grammarian

Welcome to

Modern Grammarian

Independent Editing




Welcome to Modern Grammarian, provider of literary editing services. My name is Christopher Parris, and I am an independent editor. I love fiction, I love reading it, I love writing it, and editing fiction allows me to do what I love. One of the greatest perks of my job is that I get to work with people who love fiction as much as I do. Nothing is quite as wonderful as working with an author to help them make their work really shine. I look forward to meeting you and reading your work.

Without dedication to learning, we doom ourselves to failure and mediocrity. I strive to continue to learn my craft, taking every available opportunity to continue my education. I spend a decent amount of my free time, away from actual editing, reading books about writing, taking classes on writing and editing, and attending workshops and conventions. I have chosen to devote my life to the craft of writing fiction, and I learn something new about writing from each author I work with, every project I take on, and every book I read. Check out the about me section for more.

I offer a range of editing services, from copy to developmental. Line editing and developmental editing are my areas of expertise, and the types of editing I prefer to do. That being said, I understand the needs of each author vary greatly depending on the project, and I strive to be as flexible as I can.

My ultimate goal as an editor is to make your writing as good as it can possibly be. You’ve invested countless hours, blood, sweat, and tears into your work. It’s a part of you, a piece of your soul, and I couldn’t have more respect for that. I understand what it’s like; I’m a writer. I know how hard it is to put words down, I know how nerve racking it is to second guess yourself as you edit and revise your work, and I know how anxiety inducing it can be to let someone read the things you’ve written, much less edit them. I’m here to help. I’m a resource, a tool for you to work with, to help take your writing to the next level. Every writer uses an editor, from Stephen King to J.K. Rowling. Editing your work is part of the writing process, and not something we should ever be embarrassed about. I promise I will do my utmost to make your writing all that it can be.


A Matter of



Modern Grammarian takes pride in focusing on the four C’s of editing: Clarity, Consistency, Coherency, and Correctness. We take pride in working with all authors, editors, and publishers, independent or traditional. To ensure the highest quality work possible, we use the most up to date materials. Modern Grammarian works with the newest editions of the industry standard style guides. The Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition and The Associated Press Stylebook 2015 Edition.


The Editor


I am Christopher Parris, the editor of Modern Grammarian. Thank you looking over my website, and stopping at the about me section. I am coming up on my five-year mark in the field of editing. For a long time, I was unhappy with my career, searching for something new. I made the decision to follow my dream and pursue a career in the publishing field. I have always been a voracious reader, a great lover of fiction in particular. I also enjoy writing, mostly Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but also Mystery and Children’s books as well. I began my career by attending the University of Washington’s Editing Certificate Program. I loved the program, discovered that I loved editing, and I was good at it. Following my graduation, I joined as many professional associations as I could, including: The Pacific Northwest Writers Association, the Northwest Independent Editor’s Guild, the Editorial Freelancers Association, and the American Copy Editors Society. I continued my education by attending the Author-Editor Clinic’s Developmental Editing workshop, and the Popular Fiction Writing Program at the University of Washington. I feel that continuing my education for as long as possible is the best way for me to grow as a professional. There is always something new to learn. Writing is a craft that we can always advance in. If you’d like to know what I’m currently studying or if you want to ask me anything, just drop me a line.





Copyediting is an editor’s bread and butter. Every manuscript needs a copyedit; every author makes mistakes. It’s not a reflection of your ability as a writer, it’s the same for everyone. Unless you have a copy of Chicago on your desk, and you know how to use it, there will be issues that arise. Sometimes it’s things like homophones, words that sound like other words. The word isn’t spelled wrong, so spellcheck isn’t going to flag it. Sometimes it’s correct grammar and punctuation. It’s hard for you to know all the rules, that’s what I’m here for.

A copyedit is the most common editing service. Many people have spent countless hours working on their manuscripts and they don’t require a developmental edit. All they want is to make sure there are no spelling, punctuation, or grammar issues before they move on to the publishing stage. You should only seek a copyedit after you have completed the final draft of your story.

Line Editing

Substantive editing, or line editing, is more complex than copyediting. Line editing takes a line by line, and paragraph by paragraph approach to the piece. With this type of editing I’ll focus on the structure of the work, on what does and doesn’t work well. I’ll work through the piece, editing the structure on a word, sentence, and paragraph level. In addition to simple copyediting, parts of the work may be rewritten to improve clarity and flow. Improper POV change, clunky or confusing writing, pacing, dialogue tags, and the general development of the story are just a handful of things that the substantive edit entails. This type of editing could be compared to having a ghost writer assist you in making your novel all that it can be. It incorporates a bit of writing coaching as well, though for more of that, you should check out developmental editing.

Developmental Editing

Developmental Editing is considered “big picture” editing. Here the editor considers the piece in its entirety, analyzing theme, plot, voice, POV, structure, character development, structure, clarity, continuity, and pacing. Development editing can take a manuscript and give it new life. Fresh eyes can sometimes be just what your story needs. Developmental edits can also start at the very beginning; we can work together from the story’s initial concept to its final draft, helping you build an exciting, engaging, and dynamic novel. Many agents may suggest a developmental edit if they think a story just isn’t working. This service may just bring new life to your novel. This service does not include copyediting.


The final stage in the editing process for many projects, it is the last check before a book goes to the printer. A manuscript should have already gone through several layers of editing at this point and be almost finished. Proofreading is the most basic service we offer. We do not proofread manuscripts that have not already been copyedited.


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