Book coach services
Every writing project is different–as is every writer–but all writers want to know will this edit really help, and what is it going to cost me?
I want answers to those questions too, so here is how the process begins. Send me ten sample pages and a brief synopsis.
I know, a synopsis strikes fear into the heart of even the most seasoned writer, but the synopsis you send me does not have to be the work of art you would craft for an agent or publisher, just give me a plot summary so I can orient myself in the story.
I will mark up your first ten pages at no charge so you can judge whether my service would be useful. In addition to marking up pages I will give you more global notes about what I see in that writing sample and in the plot outlined in your synopsis.
If we look like a good match you will send me a Word file of your manuscript.
You can opt for one of two ways of approaching the edit. The first, The Global Read, is the less expensive, and it is often the best place to start. The second is The Full Markup in which I will deal with your manuscript on a much more granular level. Using TRACK CHANGES I will return your file fully marked up with a wealth of sidebar notes. While I am not a copy editor I will fix obvious errors like word usage, punctuation and misspellings.
In either case I will address the following areas:
Concept: What initially catches the attention of an agent, publisher and ultimately your reader is the concept. Is yours compelling, original, intriguing?
Opening: A book’s opening is the door to a world the reader has never seen. Do you bring the reader into that world comfortably? Does your story’s opening engage the reader and at the same time make honest promises about what the story will deliver? Does it give the reader a sense of what the larger story will be about?
Character development: Is your main character interesting, flawed enough to be human but still likeable? Do your supporting characters do the job without stealing the show?
Plot: The plot is the skeleton that supports the entire work. No amount of good writing will make up for a weak plot, but a robust plot can cover a world of bad writing (sad but true). I will examine the plot arc of your story and check out the mechanics. Are you making good use of both “scene” and “summary” to move the plot forward? What is the central conflict? How early is that conflict apparent to the reader? How does that central conflict create the story? I will suggest ways to increase the payoff delivered by your plot.
Pace: Is the pace too leisurely or rushed? Is it too uniform?
Dialogue: I look at everything from the naturalness of the dialogue to how dialogue tags are used and the integration of business (the physical actions that accompany dialogue which may, in fact, even contradict a character’s spoken words).
Setting: A setting should support and amplify the story. It can even act as a character. Are you getting the most out of the setting of your novel?
Tone: The tone of a book must fit its intended audience. For example, novels for young readers must have an urgent almost claustrophobic tone. A historical romance must be lush and highly detailed.
Point of View: First person? Limited third? Omniscient? Have you chosen the most effective point of view for the story you are telling?
Pitch–Readiness: How close are you to having a manuscript that is ready for prime time? I don’t know how many hours you worked on your story or how many revisions you have done. You do, and this knowledge can cloud your judgment. “I’ve been working on this thing for years it must be ready!” Not necessarily. I can give you an objective assessment.
Quick list of what to do to make it better/more publishable: I will give you a summary of the necessary changes, a to-do list that will make your rewrite more manageable.
You the writer: I will give you a list of your strengths and weaknesses as well as some thoughts about your particular “voice.” It is helpful to know where you stand as a writer, which things you do with ease and which need work.
My fee is $35 an hour. I can usually ballpark an estimate so you know what to expect and can update you throughout the process so there will be no surprises. I edit, but I also aim to teach.
I want those I work with to end up with a good book in hand, but also with a greater skill set to bring to future writing projects.
Interested? Please contact me by e-mail: email@example.com