Help your manuscript reach its fullest potential.
Editing is a complex, multifaceted process. There are many types of editors, and (ironically) there’s no universal language to describe each stage. In general, editing goes from macro to micro; the macro stages (developmental, substantive/structural) are more creative, complex and time-consuming, while the micro (copy editing and proofreading) are more technical and straightforward. I focus on the creative side of editing, including making sure the structure is the best one to serve your manuscript, and that you’re using the most resonant storytelling techniques possible.
With editing, you can learn how to…
- Discover the perfect unfolding for your writing
- Find the ideal structure to serve your readers
- Use dialogue, characterization and scenes to bring your writing to life
- Create an experience for your readers
- Know when (& how) to show and when to tell
- Resonate deeply by bringing yourself into the story
- Learn how to pace the reader
- Use language that resonates with your readers
- Discover how to help your readers along their own Hero’s Journey
- Use sidebars, boxes and exercises to boost engagement
- Keep your the flow of narrative strong
- Clearly organize complex or nonlinear information
- Make sure your verbal microexpressions align with your message
You have a manuscript, but you’d like some feedback on it before you revise, submit or self-publish. Does the structure work? Are you focused on the right story, or is there more effective way to tell it? Is the manuscript telling the story that wants to be told? Are there discrepancies between the story you believe you’re telling and what’s coming across on the page? What are your natural writing strengths, and where might you want to improve? What should you amp up or add (or conversely, delete or tone down)? Are there recurring writing issues? How can you play to your strengths? I’ll answer all these and more.
How I do this: I’ll read through your manuscript (at least twice) and look at where the text is vs. where it wants to be. I’ll make note of technical writing issues, storylines that want to emerge, questions the reader might have, character development, storytelling techniques, sections where the text off on tangents, and more. I’ll also look at the relationship you’ve developed with your target reader and offer suggestions on how you might strengthen it.
What you’ll receive: A lengthy written assessment of the manuscript’s strengths and opportunities, both structural (storytelling) and technical (writing); one round of answers to any follow-up questions you have.
Cost: $500 for the first 100 pages; $3 per page thereafter (a page = 250 words)
Time frame: 2-4 weeks, depending on ms length
I hired Sarah to do a developmental edit on my 270-page memoir/manuscript, then substantive editing on two 5,000-word chapters. Looking at her website and reading her blog, I was quite impressed with her knowledge but more importantly felt a deep resonance with her. Her own life experiences also sold me. I wanted that wisdom to help me say what I needed to say in some difficult areas of my manuscript.
I chose Sarah out of 14 editors. However, it took me a while to commit to her because of her costs. Her prices were similar to editors with resumes of famous accomplishments, and I wondered why not take those track records instead. In the end, I had to listen to my gut (which was screaming so loud I could barely hear anything else anyway). It was her kind, patient and generous guidance that convinced me of her commitment and belief in my project that sealed the deal.
Sarah’s first edit hit me hard in a few ways that I never expected. It actually scared me. She challenged me to grow not only as a writer but as a person. That in turn made my writing all the more sincere and authentic, finding a deeper voice for the story. Her combination of humility and professionalism instantly sealed a trusting relationship which, to me, handing over my life to someone on paper, was extremely important. Her honesty and easygoing nature made her approachable for sometimes difficult territory to tread and she was very accessible by phone, email and Skype.
I gained access to not only a wealth of years of knowledge, love of the craft of writing and a high calibre mentor; I got access to a human being who has walked a very long road and does not walk ahead of you. She makes room for people to walk alongside her in awe of the mystery called life.Greg Dandeneau
Featured Package: Developmental Editing
You have a draft, yet you’re not sure what it needs to become a polished manuscript. In a developmental edit, I’ll help you find which story you’re telling, and guide you towards telling it in the most compelling way. Do your chapters and scenes flow intuitively? Are they structured well? Are there any breaks in continuity, or anything in the narrative that works against your story? If you have multiple narratives or time periods, how effectively are they braided? Are there opportunities to go deeper, to show rather than tell, or to incorporate more dialogue and characterization? What might need to be added, cut, toned down or amped up? What issues—writing or subconscious—might be holding you back? I’ll also look at voice, tone, pacing, syntax and other verbal microexpressions.
I work with only one developmental editing client at a time. My approach with developmental editing goes deeper than the surface rules of structure and storytelling. My process includes both logic (the rules) and intuition (the issues that show up beneath the words). I dive deep into what’s working, and what’s holding you back. I give you the toolkit—and a tailored writing handbook—to get where you want to go.
What I’ll Do: Review your manuscript thoroughly (at least three thorough reads), make extensive notes, provide a written feedback document (anywhere from 10-40 pages) with questions for you to consider. I’ll also provide Markup comments throughout your manuscript, to illustrate my observations and recommendations. I’ll meet with you to answer your questions about my feedback, and you’ll have unlimited email access to me for one month following the edit. If you’d like to continue working with me, you’ll receive a 20% discount off my mentoring packages.
What you’ll receive: Detailed feedback, both in an Editorial Feedback document and through extensive Markup; a follow-up call or meeting to discuss my feedback; one month of unlimited email access to clarify any aspect of my feedback; a clear direction for your manuscript, along with guidance for how to make it happen; my unwavering support.
This is for you if any of the following are true:
- You have a completed nonfiction manuscript draft
- You want to give your writing the best chance possible
- You aren’t sure which story you’re telling
- You’re not sure how to improve your storytelling
- You want deeper-than-usual editing and an editor’s focused attention
- You seek thorough and honest feedback
Cost: 12 cents per word