getting all your ducks in a row
Writing isn't editing
Editing isn't writing
Isn't editing writing?
Have you ever treble checked an email for errors and then noticed a glaring mistake the moment you've sent it? Our brains are like that. They don't always report what's really there. The creative mind uses shortcuts. That's why we can read so quickly. That's also why editing is so important.
When to hire a freelance editor
If you're self-publishing, there's a VERY small gap between your finished book and your potential readers. I've seen too many sub standard self published books. Having a professional attitude towards editing lifts you above the crowd. This is your brand, Make your choices count.
Seeking representation with an agent is a ruthless business. It doesn't matter how good your book is, send out a weak cover letter no agent is going to bother to look at your sample pages. This is the place to load the dice, failing to grab an agents attention is a sure fire way to get your script sent straight to the slush pile.
REMEMBER: many writers never get their story past the first pile of rejection letters. Agents aren't gonna change, you have to change.
WHAT SORT OF EDITING DO YOU NEED?
Not all editing is the same and none of them seem to use the same part of the brain so it's pretty difficult to do them at the same time without a great deal of coffee.
This is a WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY SCRIPT type of edit and usually comes fairly early in the draft process. You may have been through several re-writes and hit a point where you're stuck, you may have an idea you can't quite get hold of, you may have a whole bunch of chapters and not know how to pull it together so that it makes sense.
This type of edit includes a review of all essential elements as well as highlighting critical areas for development. Not all scripts need a developments edit. The process is intuitive and organic, designed to uncover the core value of your book and make sure that every part of the story fits within that ideal. This can include story arcs and character development as well as all the subtle stuff like tone, pace.
Developmental editing is a collaborative structuring or restructuring of a script, it isn't about picking up spelling or grammar errors.
A copy edit is a general overhaul designed to establish the authenticity & consistency of the world you've created. It makes adjustments directly onto your script while maintaining your voice and style, and comes at the end of your draft process. Copy editing is designed to highlight any extraneous language, weak characterisation and dubious settings as well as your choice of words & the structure of your sentences.
This part of the editing cycle comes right at the end of the process. It's the very last check through and is designed to look for typos, punctuation & spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and inconsistencies in text. There is no content or structural edit involved in proofreading.
While most of the editing processes will pick up on proofreading errors, a final and dedicated proofread is essential for any type of submission or publication.
These editorial services can apply to any type of submission from a cover letter to a full manuscript and can be in US or UK English as requested.
It’s important to realise that your submission package is as much a part of your business strategy as your manuscript. You have around 3 seconds to grab an agent’s attention. They are WAY more likely to walk away than stay, so it needs to be the absolute best of you. It should be concise, on point and intriguing enough to send them scrabbling for the script.
Your cover letter is the point of first contact. It gives a potential agent an idea of what to expect from you. It tells them that you know who they are, that you know why you’re writing to them and that you know about the process of finding an agent.
Each submission package is tailored to what you need - from cover letter review to full synopsis immersion.
Agents are notoriously difficult creatures to win over. They get so many submissions it’s all become tedious. There is no guarantee that any of this will make a difference. Still, it pays to load the dice a little.
This is one of my favourite things. Conversion will depend on your style of writing and desired outcome and a script isn't necessarily a shoe in for a screenplay. When it works it's brilliant. Send some sample of pages and I'll have a look at what's possible.
Ghostwriting is as much about establishing a good working relationship as telling the story. This is the one time when an initial meeting is crucial. We need to know that we are a good fit and share the same vision for your work. This meeting will ideally happen in person but can be done via a video link. There is a charge of £30 for this first meeting, but the cost is refunded if we decide to work together. I also like to set up regular meetings during the ghostwriting process. These meetings are included in the fee.
RESEARCH & REFERENCING
Research from libraries, archives, museums and internet sources includes MHRA referencing. If you don't have the time or the resources tell me what you need.
General formatting advice for manuscripts and submission packages. An agent might make the rules seem difficult, but it’s a strategic move. If there are errors in formatting then chances are your script is full of them. If you don’t follow their submission requirements it shows a lack of respect and a disorganised way of thinking and that’s not the sort of client they want.
The Teddy Bear Test.
£30 for 30 mins
Sometimes an idea is way too big or elusive to pin down. It can be really useful to have someone to talk things through with.
Does your synopsis read like a cardboard box?
This session is a good place to focus on the main points in your story and get that darn thing pinned down.
Opening lines & hooks
A thirty minute brainstorm on creating the perfect opening for your book.
Sometimes all you need is to talk something through
Indie is a State of Mind