HOW I EDIT

At a conference with my most recent title, "Summer on the Moon."

At a conference with one of my own books, “Summer on the Moon.”

You have probably read formulas for constructing a winning work of fiction.

Although I consider the elements on those lists when I edit, I believe that creating a work of fiction has more in common with the growth of a tree than the assembly of an engine.

A novel is not built by following a diagram Henry Ford style. A novel, like a tree, is shaped by its individual path to the light.

As an editor I point out places in which the writer has lost that path (here is where I mention things like conflict and character development) while I strive to recognize and bring out what is unique to each story and writer.

In addition to being an editor I consider myself a teacher. Remember that old adage, if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime?

In addition to editing numerous titles, I am currently at work on my own fifteenth novel; I have been fishing for a long time and will help you master the necessary skills. I believe I can shorten your learning curve. New writers sometimes just need someone more experienced to help them with the craft of writing fiction.

I will also hold a mirror up and show you what you are doing well, pointing out what makes you unique as a writer. Strengths, like voice, can be overlooked as a writer struggles to put together a coherent novel.

There are things I can’t do for you. As a content editor I’m the big picture guy. To get your manuscript polished you need a line edit. There are many good ones out there. I recommend Gina Edwards, a copy editor with twenty years’ experience who can also format your work for Kindle and Create Space, and Beth Mansbridge, a highly experienced copy editor and proofreader. Email Beth at beth@mansbridge.net.

I can’t get your book published or into the hands of a great agent, but I can help you put a good book into the hands of whoever will represent or publish it.

I edit books in many genres, but am most experienced in Literary and General Fiction, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. Genres that follow rigid conventions, such as Romance, would be better served by an editor in that field.

I immerse myself in every book I edit, giving it the kind of thought I put into my own writing. I am easy to work with and prompt to respond. If you have questions about my edits or the more general notes I send I am happy to explain.

Interested? To check out my editing services click on the “Book Coach Services” tab. I will edit the first ten pages of your book free of charge so that we can take a look at each other and see if working together is a good fit.

Based on that initial ten-page edit I can also give you a quote so you know what the job will cost.

Note: Sex and violence are present in most works of fiction, but if your book is pornographic or relentlessly violent I’m not the editor for you.