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Here's how we might work together:

First, send me a sample of your work (5-10 representative pages, or a segment of a first chapter, or any short selection from your project that you feel will give me an idea of what you're working on, even if you are not entirely sure - a common state of affairs). I'll read it and send you a brief response at no charge. I am unwaveringly positive and only interested in providing you with productive feedback. I'm direct and honest, but always constructive. So that I can begin to get to know who you are and why you write, a little introduction would be nice, too. No need to be comprehensive at this point, though! If we decide to continue our relationship, then understanding your perspective, your experience, your trials and tribulations helps me to help you develop and focus your project in satisfying ways, so we'll get to know each other as we continue with the developmental process.

If my initial feedback seems useful to you (and if I feel I can be helpful), the next step will depend on where you are in your writing project. Please keep in mind that the writer/editor relationship is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement. If after reading your sample I don't feel I am the right editor for your work, or don't feel I am qualified to help you, I will make other suggestions or referrals for you. And if, after receiving my initial feedback, you don't feel like I'm the right person to work with, I hope you'll feel comfortable talking with me about it so that I can guide you in a different productive direction. If you'd like to speak with some of the writers I've worked with previously (my "satisfied customers"), I'll be pleased to provide you with references.

If we decide to proceed, and If you have a draft of a completed manuscript, you may then ask me to read it and begin the work. There is a non-refundable prepaid "reading fee" of $50, which we can apply towards the entire project cost if we decide to continue. At this point, I will provide you with feedback about the project as a whole, the basics of a proposed plan for any revision, and a price quote for my work. We will both revisit this quote at agreed-upon intervals in the process (depending on the size and nature of the job). I want to be sure you feel you are using me efficiently and within your budget, so I like to build some flexibility into the relationship. That way, we can both manage our time and money in ways that make us happy. I charge $50 per hour and, to give you a general idea of average costs, a book of about 200 pages might involve 20-30 hours of time (a first read with edits and feedback, exchanging phone calls or emails or in-person discussions about your work, a second read after our initial changes, and a final polish). The amount of time we need will vary, of course, but we will work together to be sure we honor our writing/editing relationship.

If you are still refining what it is you'd like to write, have bits and pieces you'd like to try to unite, or want to spend some time talking about your writing goals before you've begun much actual writing, we can do this one hour at a time, at your pleasure, until you have a piece of work that resembles something that makes you happy! Which of course is our end goal! At a mutually agreed upon point in the development process, I'll bow out and let you get to work for awhile, then happily butt in again whenever you feel it would be useful.

Note: I am not a copy-editor. Since writers are human (though perhaps slightly more evolved than average), my work will unavoidably include some basic copy editing (spelling, grammar, punctuation and the like), but the function of a developmental editor is different. A writing coach/book therapist is a constructive collaborator whose job is to help you see the big picture and to offer specific guidance, suggestions and solutions about the bones of your book, your underlying vision, your narrative voice, pacing, style, etc. I'm a brainstormer and well-meaning troublemaker, whose goal is to help your writing find its true identity, to help you find the story that's yours alone to tell. I'm honored to be invited into your creative world. What shall we find there?

A Developmental Editor helps with issues of:





point of view




structural elements/plot devices





creative vision/concept


character development


timelines/time frames


target audiences


the arc of a story

sensory elements of setting

dead spots/lapses

creating hooks/powerful beginnings

conclusions/satisfying endings

archetype vs.cliche

and more...