September 28, 2015

Lisa Poisso | Book Editor & Writing Coach

Clarity of vision. Clarity of presentation.

“Lisa’s sample edit stood out from several other editors because it was obvious she had put effort into hearing my character’s voice.”—E.R. Millott

Creating a novel readers won’t want to put down requires both clarity of creative vision and clarity of presentation. I can help you with both.

I work with authors of both traditionally published and self-published fiction to show you how to elevate your story to its most compelling, commercially viable form. I specialize in editing commercial fiction, particularly action-adventure, thriller, suspense, women’s fiction, romance, and upmarket fiction. I’m also a seasoned editor of speculative fiction, including all types of fantasy, science fiction (no hard sci-fi), horror, and urban fantasy.

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 to bring clarity to their books.

Please book early. My schedule generally fills six months in advance.

Plot Accelerator

fiction editingDon’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, or even before you begin writing.

The Plot Accelerator is a virtual consultation 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 story elements such as concept, perspective, plot drivers, and story. Next comes the engine the propels everything: an in-depth questionnaire that leads you to the details you need to launch a compelling story.

A Plot Accelerator 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.

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

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.

Plot Accelerator

“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


Manuscript EvaluationAffordable Critiques

Mini Edit

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


Manuscript Evaluation

“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: An assessment of your manuscript’s story and writing

What You Get: A Plot Accelerator before or during your manuscript read; a full deep read and editorial report analyzing 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 $799 (for manuscripts up to 90,000 words)

Series Checkup

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

How Much It Costs: $199 for the first book, including up to two revisions; $79 for each additional title


Fiction Editing

Developmental Editing

“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 report—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


Line Editing & Copyediting

“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 $0.017 (1.7 cents) per word


Substantive Editing

“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

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

How Much It Costs: From $0.023 (2.3 cents) per word


lighbulbclearStory Incubator & Coaching

Story Incubator

book coachingWhat It Is: An intensive, consultative story editing experience

What You Get: A Plot Accelerator before or after you write; an evaluation including a full deep read of your manuscript plus an editorial report; a developmental edit focusing on your story and narrative technique, including a fully annotated manuscript edit and 10- to 20-page editorial report; a book map that gives you a visual analysis of your entire story, plus up to two revisions; a line edit, including a fully annotated manuscript edit and editorial report; six hours of coaching and consultation by email, phone, or Skype

Who It’s For: Authors seeking an intensive, one-on-one story editing experience with a focus on developing narrative and storytelling techniques; authors seeking to master their grasp of the techniques to create compelling commercial fiction

How Much It Costs: From $0.06 per word; please ask for a personalized quote based on your manuscript and editing goals


Book Coaching

“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

Sometimes you want to touch base with your editor more regularly while you’re still in the thick of the creative process. Creative coaching lets us work together on your work in progress.

Coaching can help you master new writing or storytelling skills and keep your plot on track as you write. Depending on your specific goals, we can consult via email or Skype to work through your needs sample by sample, chapter by chapter, or draft by draft.

Before you write Shore up the foundations of your plot during early development.

While you write Power through roadblocks with ongoing course corrections.

After you write Pick apart persistent knots before final editing.

Coaching is based on an hourly rate, available by request. Sound like the kind of support you’re looking for? Email me and let’s talk about how coaching can help you stay on target and reach your writing goals.

Let’s work together

Before you hire me, you’ll receive an initial email consultation (including a sample edit) at no obligation to you. You’ll get my professional recommendations for your book plus a personalized 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.

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom. You rock. How can I help with your book? Here’s what I’d like to know about your manuscript. Email me at and let’s talk.