Book coaching is my passion. I love helping writers discover the complete and satisfying story that gets them excited to write it. And making sure they write it. Coaching is a strange combination of problem solver, editor, and teacher.
I am a problem-solver at heart. When one of my authors comes to me with a main character that doesn’t feel authentic, or a climax that’s not as meaningful as they envisioned, this is when I get excited. Brainstorming backstory or connecting the climax to an emotional wound, this is my zone.
But there’s more to coaching than problem solving. In reviewing the opening chapters, I might discover that the author has trouble with maintaining consistent POV, or writing realistic-sounding dialogue. An editor would point out these issues and possibly recommend an article on the craft for the author to read. But as a coach, I could recommend that same article, then discuss it with the author. I can review some examples from the author’s own writing, and teach them what head-hopping is and how to avoid confusing readers with it. I can go beyond simple suggestions, making sure they really understand the craft of writing realistic-sounding dialogue, and can apply that craft in all future writing, helping them to become a better writer.
Developmental Editing is about making your story the best it can be. I will check your manuscript for issues with plot, structure, character development, setting, description, dialogue, conflict, and theme, among other things.
This is where we might discover that your protagonist has no real goal. She spends the entire novel reacting to outside forces and never makes any decision to act on her own. Or we might discover that your plot sort of meanders along without any focus or cause and effect. Or maybe you have an amazing plot, with all the conflicts and crises in all the right places, but your protagonist has no motivation for following this course of events. This is where we discover the big picture problems with your novel, and how to fix them.
Copy editing is the sentence-level editing of text for spelling, grammar, punctuation, word choice, clarity, and consistency. This should follow developmental editing once you are completely satisfied with your story as a whole. It does no good to spend time correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar in a novel where there is no story problem or goal.
The goal of copy editing is readability, to make sure the reader can understand the story, while preserving the author’s style and voice. This may mean making suggestions to rewrite a few confusing sentences for clarity, or use a more accurate word when a vague word is used. Notice that I will make suggestions, not change anything unless it is explicitly wrong. And even then, I use Track Changes in Word, and the author can decide whether to approve any change, or not. It is always ultimately up to the author.
Proofreading is the final pass of editing before publishing. This occurs after copy editing and is the final check for any typographical errors in punctuation and spelling, including wrong word usage.
Ready to Work?
Contact me to set up a meeting or email exchange to see if we are a good fit to work together and which package/service will meet your needs.