When I graduated college, I got it into my head that I really, Really, REALLY wanted to be an editor. I’m not sure why–I don’t think, at the time, I had any clear idea of how books came into being or what editors actually did.
But I wanted it, and so I managed to swing myself a series of unpaid internships: one doing proofreading for a publishing company that produced craft and how-to books, one working the slush-pile at a publishing house that dealt with middle-grade fiction. This led to actual, paying work.
That was more than fifteen years ago. I finally figured out how books come into existence, and I’ve helped midwife quite a lot of them over the years. The best part, though, is that I’ve finally figured out what editors (should) do:
- We should be completely honest with you about your manuscript. Nobody likes being jerked around.
- We should be encouraging, because writing can be an emotionally draining process.
- We should offer solutions, not just point out problems.
- We MUST recognize that, at the end of the day, it’s the writer’s call.
My specialty is developmental editing, and my preferred process is to read the entire manuscript (at least once, sometimes twice) while taking extensive notes. You’ll be able to see most of these notes. I then prepare a ten to fifteen page write-up (it varies, naturally, depending on how long the manuscript itself is, and the state the story’s in when I receive it). I try to cover everything–plot, theme, style, characters, mechanics. Structure is a specialty of mine, so if you’re concerned about pacing (too slow? too fast?), order of events (should I not show the gun on Aunt Martha’s mantlepiece until the end of the second act?), then I can definitely offer some suggestions.
I work principally in the fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, mystery, and contemporary genres, and I have experience with Adult, New Adult, and Young Adult. If you’re looking for a horror editor, I’m not your huckleberry. If you write historical fiction centered around Classical Greece or Medieval England, I’d be delighted; if it’s focused on the American Civil War, well…again, I am probably not your huckleberry.
If you’re looking for a developmental editor in one of the above mentioned genres and categories, and you think I’d be a good fit, please feel free to contact me.