Thursday, February 19, 2009

Writers have an obligation to write for readers. Readers have no obligation to read a poorly written book.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What We Do

  • Writers write.

  • Editors review, rewrite, and offer comments and suggestions designed to improve the manuscript.

  • Readers read.

  • Editors love to read.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Write Now ... Edit Later

Writing and editing are two different skills and they require two different mind-sets. Don't try to do both at the same time.

Friday, February 13, 2009


There is no better way to improve your writing than by putting it away. Write the best manuscript you are capable of then put it in a drawer for a month or two or longer. This time apart allows you to look at your article, your story, your book with fresh eyes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Editing: Step by Step

No two editors "edit" a manuscript in the same way. My method is simple and straight-forward and exists to help the writer achieve their manuscript goals. My goal is to make the editing process a pleasant and productive experience. Each relationship, like each project is unique and must be flexible. Each of us has a job to do. Writers write. Editors edit. Authors know their subject. Editors (hopefully) understands the intended audience.

The Steps:
  1. 1st Review: the initial edit is not an offer of services. Instead it is a chance for the writer to get feedback on their manuscript. I'll look at the book's potential. Do I want to keep reading? Is this a project I'm initially excited about? I may ask for additional information before deciding. Is this an author I believe I can work with? Do I believe the author is serious about the project and is willing to work hard? If the answer is yes, yes, yes ... I'll make an offer. Unfortunately, time does not allow me to accept all coaching/editing request. Either way, I offer my thoughts about the project.

  2. Agreement: my offer for developmental editing is based on the demands of the project. If the author accepts my report and agrees to the fee we move forward.

  3. Reading: (Phase I) - The process begins as I read and evaluate the entire manuscript and offer an overview of the book and suggestions on how best to proceed.

  4. Revision: (Phase II) I go to work processing the raw manuscript. I look at content, meaning and intention. Has the writer said what s/he meant to say? Does the story make sense? Is it told in the right order?By the right pov character? Will the reader want to continue turning pages? Are the scenes interesting? Is the author being honest? Original? Meaningful? I will prepare an in-depth outline for the writer on how to make the writing sing - word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page, chapter by chapter. Together we will create a rewriting plan complete with deadlines.

  5. Polishing: (Phase III) this is where we step back and consider the book as a whole. Has the best title been selected? Are chapter breaks used to move the story forward? Is the story uniquely told? Memorable? Has the book opened well? Does the middle continue to capture the reader's interest? Does the book end well? Satisfying? Saleable?

My job is quite simple. I look for opportunities to help the author tell the story they want to tell.