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Editing and Ghostwriting Novels and Memoirs

As a published novelist, editor, and ghostwriter, I’m uniquely positioned to help you reach your literary goals. No one will work harder to make you happy. Every novel needs that "I-can't-put-it-down" page-turning power, and I can help you get it.

Writing a novel is a very personal experience. With all of my valued clients I take a very respectful approach, but I’m also very tough. Why? Because it’s better to power through the difficult questions now rather than have a literary agent reject your book without offering an explanation (I know how this works; I’ve received more than my share of rejection letters. Every author has them!).

For fiction projects and memoirs, I provide a wide range of customized services. They include:

  • Developmental editing. This is where we tackle the “big picture” elements that form the bones and muscles of your story. I’ll dig into the plot, characters, pacing, flow, and the all-over readability that’s necessary for your book to become the very best that it can be. I’ll also work with you on your voice - that difficult-to-quantify essence that makes your book shine with its own personality and character. I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a wrong voice; there are only voices that have yet to be fully developed.
  • Line editing. Once the framework of your story is both sturdy and captivating, the next step is to polish the prose. There are two elements to this. First, I’ll work with you on the mechanical elements: grammar, spelling, punctuation. These are “objective” fixes. Then comes the part that’s more like art. This is the sound and flow of the individual sentences. Your voice may be eloquent or abrasive, romantic or noir. Whatever it is, it needs to be vivid and magical.   
  • Proofreading. This is the last step where we find the little mistakes that are hiding in plain sight. To be honest, you cannot proofread a book too many times. Think of it this way: in a novel with 80,000 words, there are roughly 500,000 individual characters and spaces. Half a million - and each one needs to be perfect! My goal is for your manuscript to have zero mistakes.
  • Critique. Many of my clients don’t want hands-on editing, but they need honest feedback. This is when a critique can be both useful and affordable. In a written report, I’ll tell you how I respond to your story, if it keeps my interest, and if (heaven forbid) the book becomes boring or confusing. This is not unlike a highly detailed book review, where I provide my opinion on not just the overall effect of the book but on its constituent parts: plot, character, pacing, setting, voice. A critique is not editing; my job here is not to make corrections but to ask questions. I point out elements that I like as well as elements that bother me, and it’s your choice as to how you want to respond.

I Look Forward to Serving You

As a practicing author of fiction, I know what it’s like to stare at that blank sheet of paper (or screen, nowadays) and wonder how to get started. I understand how you feel when you’ve written something - a chapter or a complete manuscript - and you wonder, “Am I doing the right thing? Will anyone want to read this?” You need advice and guidance, and sometimes a fresh eye. I’m here to provide them for you.

The suggestions that I make are my opinion. At the end of the day, it’s your book with your name on it, and you are free to accept or reject any suggestion or edit that I’ve made. My goal is to not only help you tell your story as powerfully as possible, but to give you confidence that your book is the very best that it can be.

The Editing and Ghostwriting Process

I look forward to reading your work! When editing your novel or memoir, I use the Word edit tracker so that you can instantly see my corrections and comments, and accept or reject them. For questions of style, I customarily use the Chicago Manual of Style, but if you prefer another I’m happy to oblige. Your authorial voice is unique and I will always preserve it or, if possible, enhance it.

Your collaboration is an important part of the process. My fee includes the edit or ghostwriting, your review, and a second round. If necessary, we’ll create a series of milestones so that the project is taken in sections. We can work at your pace, and you may cancel future sections at any time. 

My services are always tailored to meet your needs. You can hire me to edit just one chapter or your entire book. Many of my clients, including both fiction and non-fiction authors, send me a chapter every few weeks. There’s no rush and no pressure.

I’ll also help you with overall organization and the front matter (the preface, foreword, introduction), as well as the book jacket text. You can also hire me to assist you with your query letter or proposal. My job is to help you every step of the way until you publish your novel or memoir.

Let’s Get Started

I invite you to email me today so that we can arrange a free initial consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.