September 28, 2015

Lisa Poisso, Book Editor

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 coachingdevelopmental editing (story editing), line editing, and coaching on the narrative techniques of fiction. I do not 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.


Manuscript Critique

The Essential EditIs your manuscript ready to send to agents or self-publish? Does the story hold water? Is the point of view optimal for your genre and audience? Does the story structure support the story? Will readers care about and root for your characters? Does the writing use both showing and telling effectively at the right times? A manuscript critique answers these questions and more.

With each project, she makes me a better writer. So call her Mrs. Miyagi. And, while you’re at it, probably book her to take your manuscript to the next level, too.—Luke R. Mitchell

A manuscript critique gives you a deep read of your full manuscript and an editorial report covering your novel’s concept and genre, plot and storytelling technique, and writing. Expect a minimum of twenty to thirty pages of feedback and recommendations; this is not a summary-style critique. Your feedback includes examples from your own manuscript, clear explanations of story principles and techniques, and links to additional resources—all at about half the cost of a developmental edit. Finish with a one-on-one follow-up consultation via email, phone, or Skype.

Who It’s For: A manuscript critique is suitable for fully revised manuscripts that are ready for professional critique. Rates begin at $899.


Manuscript 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

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.

I no longer offer manuscript editing to clients who have not worked on their books with me at the story development level.

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 $3499.



Excerpt Edit

An excerpt edit is an edit of about twenty pages of your novel, including on-manuscript edits and comments covering your story’s concept and genre, storytelling technique and development, narrative technique, and writing style and mechanics.

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. Finish with a one-on-one follow-up consultation via email, phone, or Skype.

Use an excerpt edit as a springboard to DIY revision on the rest of your manuscript.

Who It’s For: An excerpt 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 begin at $499.





Triage Audit book coaching and editingTriage Audit

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.


Lisa Poisso, Book CoachThanks for reading all the way to the bottom. You rock.

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.