Clarity of vision. Clarity of presentation.
Creating a novel readers won’t want to put down requires clarity of creative vision and clarity of presentation. I can help you with both.
I’m a book editor and writing coach specializing in commercial fiction, particularly the range referred to as upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, and book club fiction. I love a good action-adventure, thriller, suspense, or romance novel. And speculative fiction is definitely my bailiwick, including all types of fantasy, science fiction (no hard sci-fi), and horror.
A professional communicator for more than 25 years, I’ve coached developing journalists, content writers, and bloggers. Now I work with emerging and career authors alike to bring clarity to their books.
Please get in touch with me early. My schedule generally fills about six months in advance.
Don’t drain your editing budget on a story that’s not ready for prime time. The Plot Accelerator is an affordable way to make sure your novel has all the story power it needs to succeed as commercial fiction—before you commit your editing budget to a full evaluation or edit, or even before you begin writing.
The Plot Accelerator is a virtual consultation, all done via email, that helps you build your story using proven storytelling techniques. It’s like a developmental X-ray of the bones of your story. You’ll start with supercharged tutorials on the structure that supports any story—classic story structure that underlies timeless tales from all cultures. Next comes an in-depth questionnaire and one-on-one feedback that helps you nail down those elements in your own story.
I thought my manuscript only needed a few more tweaks, but after going through Lisa’s Plot Accelerator, I soon discovered the many pitfalls of my premise and character motivation. She worked with me to help rebuild the story from the ground up. In the end, the process helped me better understand what makes a story great.—Matt Folsom
A Plot Accelerator is not an evaluation or edit of your manuscript itself. It’s a consultative process that helps you discover how each part of your story fits together. You’ll move forward armed with questions and prompts designed to get you thinking about how to develop every twist and turn.
Use the Plot Accelerator as a blueprint before you write or a diagnostic tool once you’ve finished. Each module takes a few days to move through at your own pace, and you’ll get up to two revision consultations at each level. Scheduling your Plot Accelerator’s easy. There’s no need to book far in advance.
“I love how you’ve distilled all these approaches … into a practical guide. Your material takes it from theory to practice. Brilliant!”—Scott Jarol
What It Is: A virtual consultation and analysis of the bones of your story
What You Get: Tutorials, analysis, and one-on-one feedback on the foundations of your story; a Plot Accelerator is not an evaluation or edit of your manuscript itself
Who It’s For: Authors who want the faster writing times that come from well-developed story foundations and outlining; authors seeking an affordable story-level diagnostic tool for their final drafts; authors who want story editing but don’t have the budget or time for an evaluation or developmental edit
How Much It Costs: $299 or $85/module
What It Is: An assessment of your book’s story and writing
What You Get: A Plot Accelerator before your evaluation, with time for revision if you choose; a full deep read and editorial memo assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript
Who It’s For: Authors seeking a better sense of what parts of their story need additional revision, what kind of editing their books need, or whether their manuscripts are ready to query or self-publish; authors who want story editing but don’t have the budget for a developmental edit
How Much It Costs: Starting at $699 (for manuscripts up to 90,000 words)
“Lisa is undoubtedly some manner of sorceress when it comes to identifying and fixing the dissonance that can so easily creep between the story you thought you wanted to tell and the one that landed on the page.”—Luke R. Mitchell
What It Is: A story- and language-level edit of 2,500 words (about 10 pages)
What You Get: Substantive edit (both story and writing) of ten pages (2,500 words); editorial memo outlining your story’s strengths and weaknesses
Who It’s For: New authors who need a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not working to guide their next steps; authors seeking to polish their first pages for submission; authors seeking a professional kickstart for self-revision
How Much It Costs: $149
What It Is: A story checkup for your series
What You Get: Book map and analysis of the plot, character motivations, and story conflict across your entire series; not an edit or evaluation of your manuscript
Who It’s For: Series and serial authors trying to frame and unify an entire series
“I will always remember, Lisa told me I had a ‘manuscript-length discussion of theme’ . . . all the icing and decoration but no cake! I needed to crack some more eggs. She has a great sense of humour, too!”—J.C. Thomas
What It Is: Story-level editing
What You Get | 2-Step Developmental Edit: Plot Accelerator before or after you write; fully annotated manuscript edit focusing on your story plus narrative technique (issues such as point of view and narrative distance, dialogue tags and beats, showing vs. telling, transitions and hooks, and filtering); comprehensive 10- to 20-page editorial report; two hours of follow-up consultation (email, phone, or Skype)
What You Get | 3-Step Developmental Edit: In the middle of your 2-Step Developmental Edit, add an additional round of critique—a full deep read of your manuscript plus an editorial memo—to give you more opportunities for revision and follow-up.
Who It’s For: Seasoned authors seeking an edit that focuses on their story and narrative technique; any author who wants to learn more about the craft of storytelling
How Much It Costs: Starting at $0.02 per word
“I learned so much during the process, and I am certain I’m a much better writer from having worked with her.”—Karen Cimms
What It Is: Paragraph- and sentence-level editing
What You Get: Fully annotated manuscript edit designed to polish your writing while strengthening your individual voice and style, including issues such as awkward sentence construction, wordiness, overwriting and underwriting, ambiguities, paragraphing, and word choice; transcends and includes copyediting (grammar, spelling, and punctuation; applying publishing industry standards of style and usage; checking for internal consistency of facts); comprehensive editorial report; one hour of follow-up email consultation
Who It’s For: Authors seeking to produce a professional-quality manuscript; authors who would like help polishing their writing technique
How Much It Costs: From $0.018 (1.8 cents) per word
What It Is: Sentence-, paragraph-, and story-level editing
What You Get: Fully annotated manuscript edit focusing on major story issues, narrative technique (issues such as point of view and narrative distance, dialogue tags and beats, showing vs. telling, transitions and hooks, and filtering), and line editing; comprehensive 10- to 20-page editorial report; two hours of follow-up consultation
Who It’s For: Authors seeking to produce a professional-quality manuscript on a limited production schedule or budget; authors seeking feedback on narrative technique as well as language
“Having worked with other ‘editors,’ I found most to simply want to correct my often poor grammar or incorrect word choice, but Lisa also looks at the whole story, offering suggestions outside of the simple fixes.”—Troy Christensen
Story Incubator Coaching
Sometimes you want to touch base with your editor more regularly while you’re still in the thick of the creative process. Creative coaching gives you the accountability and support you need to complete your book on your timetable and to your creative vision. Depending on your specific goals, we’ll consult via email, phone, or Skype to work through your manuscript sample by sample, chapter by chapter, or draft by draft.
What It Is: Regular, long-term coaching that helps you write your manuscript on time and on target
What You Get: Initial consultation to personalize your coaching plan to your manuscript and writing goals; weekly, twice-monthly, or monthly feedback on your latest pages (up to 10,000 words or approximately 40 manuscript pages); weekly accountability touchpoints to keep you on track; writing resources and tips for making the most of your writer’s life; optional telephone or Skype consultations
Who It’s For: Authors seeking support and direction throughout the writing process; authors seeking to develop their narrative and storytelling techniques and create compelling commercial fiction
How Much It Costs: From $99/month; please ask for a personalized quote based on your manuscript and editing goals
“Now I can’t imagine working with another editor. . . . She provided me all the hours (of) writing coaching I needed in order to finish my book. I really felt I was being pushed in the right direction from start to finish.”—J.C. Thomas
Let’s work together
Before you hire me, we’ll go through an initial email consultation (including a sample edit) at no obligation to you. You’ll receive my professional recommendations for your book plus a plan of services designed for your needs and budget.
Once we begin working together, much of my focus will be on helping you master your craft. When something in your book isn’t working, I won’t just fix it. Instead, I’ll help you understand how and why to improve it yourself. You’ll finish your edit with a better book and a bigger toolbox of storytelling skills.
The support doesn’t stop once the words are on the page. A Query Bundle gives your query the professional polish it needs to get in the door with agents and publishers. If you’re self-publishing, a Blurb Bundle lends your back cover and retail page copy the marketing kick they need to make your book sell. These services are available exclusively to established clients.