I offer a wide variety of services to both fiction and nonfiction writers, as follows:
FULL EDIT/FULL CRITIQUE (highly recommended for new writers):
- Read the entire manuscript
- Edit, annotate, and correct every page
- Write a page-specific critique and marketing analysis
My full-length critiques generally run to thirty pages or more and are divided into in two sections: Literary and Technical.
Whether your project is fiction or nonfiction, for children or adults, the Literary section always opens with a discussion of your target market and where your book is likely to fall in terms of its marketing potential. Often I see substantial changes that need to be made—for example, developing a subplot in a novel or participatory exercises in a self-help book—and I suggest solutions where authors tell me they are “stuck.” I also highlight your strengths so you can capitalize on them in the future.
For novelists and short story writers, the Literary section addresses issues with plot, characterization, point of view, dialogue, conflict, suspense, rhythm of action, scene framing, emotional impact, evocation of time and place, “showing versus telling,” and many other conventions of fiction writing.
For nonfiction projects, the Literary section covers content, structure, pacing, clarity, maintaining a high level of engagement and interest, allowing for a gradual mastery of material to assure reader satisfaction, and other conventions of nonfiction writing.
For juvenile projects, I offer detailed information about how to conceptualize, format, and submit children’s picture books, as well as comments specific to the children’s and YA markets.
The Technical comments concern language usage—grammar, punctuation, spelling, proper formatting, and so forth. I use the guidelines set forth in the Chicago Manual of Style unless otherwise requested.
Advantage! A Full Critique will serve as a mini-writing tutorial that is customized to your manuscript, but that you should also find useful to your future projects. In addition to its comprehensiveness, the Full Edit/Critique is designed so that once you begin to revise, you can work page by page from my notes on the manuscript pages and the page-specific comments itemized in the critique letter.
PARTIAL EDIT/FULL CRITIQUE
This includes the full-length critique, as described above, but an edit of the first 50 or 100 pages. This can be a good option if you suspect your manuscript will require substantial revisions, because you get the benefit of the first pages of editing to imitate and the instructions in the critique to follow as you revise, but you would not be paying for me to edit pages that you expect to be rewriting. (Examples of substantial revisions might include restructuring to improve organization or increase suspense; adding scenes to refine characterization or motives; deleting scenes or incidents to accelerate the pacing; adding narration to flesh out dialogue, or dialogue to dramatize narrated passages; introducing new elements to eliminate middle-of-the-book drag; adding or combining characters; beginning the book in a different place; etc.) If you suspect the manuscript is still pretty rough, you may prefer to begin here.
READ-THROUGH, SHORT EVALUATION
This more limited level of service entails a complete read-through, accompanied by a less extensive evaluation of approximately three pages, with few or no page-specific notes. This option is usually most useful to experienced writers who are only looking for input on how to revise a manuscript to give it more “punch” and direction, and possibly to sharpen its “hook,” but are not necessarily wanting an edit. For beginning writers looking for early feedback and direction, I would tell you if I think your book is marketable or if I see any of the most common problems that plague new novelists (middle-of-the-book drag, a poorly defined protagonist, insufficient emotional payoff, inconsistent point of view, etc.), as well as suggest ways to fix or improve them.
All levels of service include brief post-critique queries/replies as necessary at no additional charge. Follow-up is a standard part of my service.
I also offer assistance with:
* Marketing (creation of query letters, outlines, synopses, book proposals)
* Development (plotting/organization) for fiction/nonfiction
* Line-editing for final drafts (This is a digital edit in Word, using the Track Changes and Insert Comment tools so you can see what I have done. Note that I prefer to reserve this level of service for manuscripts I’ve seen and that have already been through the revision process.)
* Ongoing writing tutorials
* Occasional ghostwriting
* Other editorial services as requested. Don’t see what you need listed here? Ask me!
I base my fees on the word count of your manuscript. Please click on “Request a Quote” in the menu at left to send me your word count, along with a brief description of your project, and I will reply with fee quotes for the service(s) you request.
WHAT I DON’T DO
I do not offer comprehensive copy-editing or technical editing for scientific or mathematical works. I also like to point out that I am not a literary agent, so I am not in a position to get your work published. My job is to help you create a professionally crafted book that will have a vastly improved chance of attracting the attention of an agent and/or publisher.