• Fantasy
  • Paranormal
  • Sci-fi
  • Historical
  • Psychological Thrillers
  • Short Stories
  • Action/Adventure
  • Mysteries
  • Dystopian
  • Thrillers
  • Biographies / Life Stories
  • Non-fiction (Genuine NF, well researched and with verifiable facts or information. No opinion-based NF)

To be accepted for editing services, a three to five page sample of the work is required. Message me on Facebook and I’ll take the sample as soon as we are face to face if I am available for a new job. I will need three days to read it. If it is ready for a pro edit, I will contact you and arrange for a larger sample. After an initial read-through and a final determination that your work is ready for a pro edit, we will negotiate terms and desired turn around time. For a novel, expect up to three months. To aid your writing process and avoid extra costs for problems:

  • Read many more words than you write.
  • Know your basics – spelling, grammar, verb tenses, clean phrasing…
  • Avoid overuse of adverbs. Describe details to evoke feeling.
  • Avoid passive voice (use as support only). Avoid PVDA (Talk to me about this one!)
  • Do two drafts, minimum. Read them as if you don’t know them. Strike at them with a critical eye.
  • Read books on the craft. It is a craft which must be learned. It is also an art form we may celebrate.
  • Don’t hurry through your second draft.
  • If you ask friends to read your work, expect praise or criticism. They are not objective. Your editor is.
  • Again: Read many more words than you write.

When I return your work to you, we will discuss it. All final decisions will belong to the author.

  • My goal as an editor is to help you craft your very best work.
  • My other goal is to help you be a better writer.

Rates:  Services and rates vary by piece.

  • $3.00 / page or per 350 words for Novel length. (69,000+)
  • Short stories:
  • 3000 words or below: $45.00 flat rate.
  • 3001-7500 words: $55.00 flat rate.
  • 7501 – 24,999 words: $35 per 3000 words – $75.00 base fee.
  • Novellas / Novelettes: $3.25 per page or per 350 words. (25,000 – 69,000)

All editing services include a thorough proofread, as well as a complete review for (as applicable):

  • Point of View
  • Character Development
  • Spelling, Grammar, Word Use
  • Phrasing & Voice
  • Time-line (continuity)
  • Story Flow
  • Consistency

If you are seeking editing services, please contact me either:

On Facebook: Message me at: https://www.facebook.com/david.cleinman

Or you may e-mail me at: Seeking Editing Services

Why work with me? Because I want to work with you if you are willing to improve and have basic, sound skills. I am objective and not even remotely interested in comparing works. Each tale is unique and I work with the author to make theirs better.

The writer/editor combination (as in those of us who do both) is both a boon and a burden, bit by bit. In the end, though, good editing skills make writers better, and good editors make writers better. In the back and forth, editors also learn from the writer and the process. The teamwork which brings a good book to life is precious and wholly rewarding. Every writer needs to think about what they want to bring to life in their story and how they will accomplish this with clarity and intent.

A writer’s motto should be: Here is where I depart from conventional un-wisdom and embrace the fact that I am willing to learn. Your editor, unless you trust them to make your changes for you, will suggest alternatives, point out flaws, correct word use, and so on. You are then free to make the changes in your way. In the process an editor might have missed something. Politely correct them. In the process they will likely find a few hundred issues in a novel of a hundred thousand words, or so. Learn from them and incorporate the good lessons into your writing – in other words, learn to self-edit as well as you can.

Write this one hundred times: My editing machete is my best friend! Sometimes we cut a swath, sometimes we gather coconuts, and often we chop and burn. It really is rewarding to watch your writing improve as you learn to edit. When you do, your editor will get through your work faster and your book will come to market sooner.

The editor needs to realize some clients will always think they are the writer of the century, no matter what skill level they really occupy. It is important to know this, so I insist on doing a free sample edit. This ensures a client is not going to fall apart because a segment is awkward, or when told a sixty-nine word sentence with six commas is like reading through a telephone book by the numbers. It’s frustrating and it just takes too damn long to get through the process.

Okay, now that we have a basic understanding out of the way, allow me to share a few samples:

  • This sample is interesting, but the story it’s nestled within is exceptional and it deserves

better framing. I suggested personal examples and then a briefer conclusion:   An athletics of the mind, following through the course of events, no matter where or how they take you, searching through the facts to arrive at the most reasonable cause and effect of a situation.”

  • Not just that, now that she felt warm was also because of my leather coat that I wrapped around her, ignoring her objection.

– This sentence needs no explanation. If you are sending this to an editor, they will charge you extra to correct awkwardness like this. Proofread and correct basic mistakes! As a writer, this is your job.

  • She didn’t notice, but she’s describing the action:

I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice that Daisy’s hand had made its way to my curly hair. She was playing with my elf-locks, urging me to take the next step.

  • The moon was a thin slice, like the paring of a finger nail. – please. Comparative description is fine and desired, but who wants to think about trimmed fingernail clippings?

 

  • He craned his neck, peering over his shoulder at his latest scar.  – He can’t crane his neck and look at the scar at the same time. One has to come before the other. This is passive voice dual action, an awkward but common issue with the use of present participles. – He craned his neck and peered. Or He craned his neck. Peered at his… (both are Active and no there is no dual action at all).

 

  • With the blizzard from the west like wolf’s teeth through the black tide and the churning rain threatening to close off all visibility as far as the crag-drop, Ogot knew, as he had known months ago but had refused to admit, that it was time for rare patience and not for common temper. – 54 words and stacked.

The blizzard from the west was like wolf’s teeth through the black tide, and churning rain threatened to close off all visibility as far as the crag-drop. – no PV and clearer.

  • Ogot knew, as he had known for months, but had refused to admit, that it was time for rare patience and not for common temper. – he had known but refused to admit… an awkward contradiction as written. This is one where I like the idea but want to know if the author thinks it could be improved. I do, and I would simplify and shorten it.

 

Literary writing is amazing and I love it. However, too many words and awkward results are not literary writing, even if the end result seems to sound the same to the author. Readers use punctuation to guide their pace. Proper usage benefits a tale. Too many commas and clauses are like having to puddle jump when we just want to stroll.

The samples above are from wide-ranging skill levels. The better is easy to tell from the lesser, but in every case simple changes that take seconds will improve the passage and make it smoother.

This is the teamwork: Writers: write your very best and master your basics. Editors: help your writers improve their very best and correct their simple mistakes (the ones we all make). This is a magical relationship and should be considered invaluable by both writer and editor.

dac80If you are seeking editing services, please contact me either:

On Facebook: Message me at: https://www.facebook.com/david.cleinman

Or you may e-mail me at: Seeking Editing Services

-Dave Cleinman