What’s Going on under the Hood of Your Book?
Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.—Pablo Picasso
You’re a busy person, and you don’t have time for endless webinars and advice books and online courses. Now there’s a way to learn what you’re doing while you’re actually doing it, even if this is your very first novel. You’ll finish with writing techniques and knowledge you’ll use the rest of your writing career.
No more stumbling through rough drafts, then paying a book editor to help you find the story inside. You’ll write smarter manuscripts from the start, from concept and story to the words on the page.
This is where theory and practice come together.
If you’re simply looking for someone to help you polish your manuscript for publication, I may not be the right editor for your book. But if you’re ready to master what’s going on under the hood, let’s talk.
Specializing in Story
I work with new and emerging authors of book-length fiction, with services including story development coaching, developmental editing (story editing), line editing, and coaching on the narrative techniques of fiction. Manuscript critiques are available to established clients only. I don’t offer stand-alone copyediting or proofreading.
My specialty is story, from the thick, deeply internal stories of literary fiction to the explosive narratives of genres such as action-adventure. I’m interested in characters overcoming significant problems and making remarkable journeys of change. I also enthusiastically work with plot-driven situational novels in action-oriented genres. I do not work with slice-of-life, stream of consciousness, or experimental fiction, nor do I work with books resting on frameworks other than plot and story.
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
During manuscript editing, feedback is made directly on your manuscript via annotations using Track Changes and comments in Microsoft Word. A comprehensive editorial report (usually twenty pages or more) not only recommends ways to strengthen your book but shows you how to do it. Finish with a one-on-one follow-up consultation via email, phone, or Skype.
The first level of manuscript editing helps you expand and strengthen your storytelling and narrative technique. This edit covers effective use of point of view, dialogue tags and action beats, characterization, dramatic tension, exposition and description, theme, balancing scene vs. exposition vs. dialogue, transitions, hooks, scene structure, and more. This edit may also begin to address the flow and quality of the writing and help you hone your writing style and authorial voice.
I learned so much during the process, and I am certain I’m a much better writer from having worked with her.—Karen Cimms
The next level of manuscript editing zooms in on the writing. This paragraph- and sentence-level editing most closely compares to a combination of line editing and copyediting. It’s designed to polish your writing, strengthening your individual voice and style while clarifying grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage.
Who It’s For: Manuscript editing is suitable for fully revised manuscripts that have been through multiple drafts and are ready for professional attention. Rates begin at $2999. (For help with early drafts, please consider partial editing or coaching.)
A partial edit is an edit of a single section of your novel, from twenty pages to the first full quarter of your novel up to the first turning point.
A partial is like a short course in fiction writing technique, giving you hands-on feedback at a manageable scale. It’s an intense burst of feedback, with far more value than a prorated edit on a similar number of words from a full edit; a first quarter edit, for example, provides much more value than one-fourth of a full edit. You’ll get direct feedback on how you’re using point of view, narrative tense, dialogue content and mechanics, character arcs, character motivation and conflict, characterization, dramatic tension, pacing, and writing style.
Use a partial edit as a springboard to DIY revision on the rest of your manuscript. Partials are a great way to identify and correct issues with elements such as point or view or dialogue mechanics that can be hell on wheels to revise once you’ve bricked them into an entire manuscript. Finish with a one-on-one follow-up phone or video consultation.
Who It’s For: A partial edit is a smart choice for authors seeking to polish their first pages for query and submission; authors who need a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not working in their writing; and new-to-fiction writers seeking to solidify their narrative technique. Rates range from $499 to $999.
Do you take your writing one thing at a time? How about three? In a triage audit, I’ll look through your manuscript to identify the top three ways to strengthen your book.
You’ll get a report explaining each issue, plus recommendations for strengthening your manuscript, suggestions for alternative approaches, and resources for more reading.
Who It’s For: A triage audit is for authors seeking to target and improve the three largest issues in their storytelling and writing techniques. Triage audits are $99.
Need More Help? Try Book Coaching
Is your story stuck? Does point of view or narrative tense have you tangled up in knots? Do you wish you had someone to show you exactly what you need to know to ramp up your fiction writing technique?
Book coaching provides one-on-one support from story development through editing—all at your own pace. Get your manuscript off the ground with coaching designed to accelerate your ideas onto the page. You’ll learn the storytelling and writing techniques to fully express your creative intentions while completing your novel in the process.
Find out if book coaching is right for you.
Looking for an editor to accelerate your journey from new writer to emerging author? That editor could be me. Or maybe you want a book coach to steer you through story development and writing; I can help you with that, too.
If you’re ready to accelerate your novel, let’s work together.