EDITOR WITH THIRTY YEARS’ EXPERIENCE

PUBLISHED AUTHOR

                                 Will work with you

In person
By phone, Skype, or FaceTime
By email, using Track Changes

Editing pic

 The goal of any serious editor is to teach you how to edit your own work.

 I charge by the hour for all editing.
 I will bill weekly or monthly.

Contact me at pdroberts1@gmail.com

  • I will review your manuscript, give you an initial evaluation, and help you decide how much and what kind of editing is best for you.
  • I will edit and suggest ideas for rewriting, and I will identify repeated problem areas and work with you so that you can spot and correct them yourself.

 

Editing your manuscript will be a joint effort.

  • In the process of editing your manuscript, I will introduce you to some techniques I have developed that will allow you to work with your own writing more effectively.

My particular way of editing differs fundamentally from a traditional approach.  It provides the same basics that any good editing will, but you will come away with a good deal more than a corrected manuscript. And, although I will do a certain amount of good old-fashioned reading and correcting, the bulk of the work will be accomplished by the two of us working together.

The Process

  • We will read your manuscript out loud–the entire manuscript, probably more than once.
  • We will discuss, in person or by phone, every correction or suggestion I have made. Track Changes is only a convenient means to facilitate that discussion.

The Results

  • You will have a clean and better piece of writing.
  • You will have learned most of what you need to edit your own work.

You will get the same attention that any good editing provides to:

  • Identification and correction of  errors in basic grammar, punctuation, and usage
  • Correction of sentences for wordiness, awkward phrasing or word choice, errors in parallel structure
  • Reworking of paragraphs to provide logical development of ideas within and workable transitions between

 

Here’s How It Works:

The Initial Review

This initial review is a careful and thorough reading and evaluation of your manuscript, designed to provide an honest appraisal of just where I think it stands.  Is it ready to move forward, with basic editing along the way, or does it need substantial reconsideration and revision?  It is at this point that I will make recommendations about what kind and amount of editing is needed, what is involved, and the cost of undertaking it.

 Sample Review (of my own manuscript after an editorial review):

I came away from a close reading of Looking for Lydia; Looking for God wanting to know more about the lives of these women in the Bible Study at the Lydia Roper Home, and I was delighted to discover the block of short chapters that your introductions of the women made so fulfilling.  The presentation of their characters, through detail of everything from Kate’s bracelet to the gradual emergence of Inez’s voice, is a great strength of your manuscript.  The growth of your obsession with finding stories about Lydia Roper is compelling, but you need markers to keep the reader grounded: when did you find the information about her marriage in Philadelphia?  About her charitable work in Norfolk?  It’s too easy to get lost.

I applaud your attempt to weave the stories of these women with those of the women in the Bible, the women in the Roper family, and your own story into a book that is, at least in part, about stories.  That attempt is not always successful, however, due to very weak, if nonexistent, transitions.  And to repeat: one of the book’s problems is the failure to tell the reader where he is in time and place. The book can be confusing and all but the staunchest reader might just give up.  I suggest you consider visual separations—small designs of some kind—to signify major shifts in the narrative and to provide the sense of sections of the story.

Part of the book’s appeal, however, is this movement back and forth between centuries and cities, so you want to preserve your own voice and tone as you make those shifts a little more manageable for someone coming to the people and the history for the first time.

I suggest some reorganization at the beginning, possibly a division of that long first chapter into a Prologue and a much shorter Chapter One. If you intend to submit the manuscript for publication, I recommend a line edit for style and a copy edit for inconsistencies in capitalization and italics and to work with you on punctuation, especially the excessive use of semi-colons.

 

The Discussion

We will spend no more than an hour reviewing my evaluation of your manuscript and your editing needs.

 

The Editing

Our work together will begin with an introduction to the process we will be using.

  • Introduction to Track Changes, if necessary
  • First reading aloud. We will read a first chapter or long section, stopping to discuss problems as we read

We will then be able to set up a schedule.

  • I will read a section, correct and suggest with Track Changes, and send it to you.
  • We will set a time, in person or by phone, to read that section aloud and discuss my editorial comments.
  • You will review what we have done, incorporate changes and corrections, and send me a copy of that edited section.
  • I will read the next section, correct and suggest, and send it.
  • We will read aloud, etc.

I have found it works best if we have a set day and time for our sessions–whether on the phone or in person. We will generally limit these to no more than an hour unless you specifically ask to extend them.

 

There is no more valuable asset for your book or your business than a first-rate writer and editor.

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