Through years of leading writers groups, helping individual writers with their work, and founding an online publication, I have developed the skills that make a competent editor. What are those skills? Well, spelling and grammar are a part of it, but more important is the ability to read a work and identify what an author is attempting to achieve, then clearly communicate how to move their work closer to that purpose. In my experience there are three related levels that an editor works on:
- The conceptual space: Working with the writer to generate ideas and bring shape to a manuscript or article. Who’s that guy blowing clouds for your brainstorm? That’s me!
- Place, plot, and person: A draft is in progress or complete, and I am there to examine every argument, narrative device, character, and more. I’m analyzing the work at the level of chapters and pages, through-lines, and character arcs.
- Copy editing: The least glamorous of the three, but just as necessary. Checking for spelling and grammar errors, continuity, formatting, and every other little detail. I’m the mouse running through the holes in every letter of your draft.
Besides focusing on the text, I also focus on the person. If you have a book idea, but aren’t sure where to go next, I can help. I especially love working with people who don’t consider themselves writers, but feel like they have something important to say. I’m not concerned about bad grammar or spelling, all of that can be edited (see above). I require only that my clients have a strong work ethic; if you have the discipline to get your ass in the chair (or to your standing desk, or write from bed like an aristocrat) and do the work, I will show up for you every step of the way.
If you need help with editing, motivation, or developing an interesting idea, let’s talk about it!