Over the years, I’ve enjoyed helping writers with their projects, whether fiction or non-fiction, both beginners and published professionals. I’ve worked with writers in all aspects of publishing, from finding a viable idea for a book to the final edit. In some cases, I’ve simply acted as a coach, urging clients forward one chapter at a time.
My emphasis is craft: story-structure, drama, believable characters, and how to keep a narrative moving in such a way that readers will want to find out what happens next. As I see it, there are no particular rules for good writing except this: Thou Shalt Be Interesting! Whether you’re Dickens or Danielle Steel, you need an interesting concept, an interesting first line, an interesting first paragraph, an interesting first chapter, and so on until the end—one compelling moment after another. A good story, whether fiction or non-fiction, deals with the important moments of people’s lives and as a writer you need to dispense with everything that’s dull or inconsequential.
I’m not saying that you can’t have a scene that shows a character brushing his/her teeth for 3 pages, but you would need a way to make it interesting. This isn’t easy, of course; it’s the work of a lifetime. All of my own books go through at least six or seven drafts. In the first draft, I simply go for it, writing anything that comes into my head. But in successive drafts, I work more consciously to find what works and what doesn’t. As F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, you need to be able to kill your babies. (He used to say this to my mother with a wild glint in his eye—he had a macabre sense of humor.) What he meant was this: Don’t fall in love with your work, don’t lose your professional objectivity. Be ready to cut, cut, cut!
I’m very busy with my own work right now, getting out a new book every year, so I’m not particularly looking for new clients. But if you’re a writer seeking editorial help, and you’ve found your way to this page, please feel free to contact me at the link below and I’d be glad to discuss your project. My fees are negotiable.