What's a personal editor actually do?
That's a question I get asked a lot.
Every writer is different.
Some writers need an extra pair of eyes to read their finished first draft and help pull the book project together in a more coherent way. They may look for a personal editor who has strengths in the areas they feel they are weak in, such as story structure or dialogue.
I am currently working as a writing coach and personal editor with a music educator and instrumental teacher on two non-fiction music books. One is aimed at the general public who want to learn to read music and play the piano. The second one, for music teachers, examines new brain research and new methods for teaching young children to read music and play an instrument at an early age in order to boost the intelligence centers of the brain for lifelong scholastic acheivement. We work one-on-one for each new chapter she writes. She reads it out loud to me in order to really hear how it sounds, and we revise it together -- lately on Zoom -- as we go through it.
For other clients I've provided first draft evaluations, reading their finished manuscripts and creating a chart of plot points, character relationships, and an overall sense of how to realign the elements of their story to give the book more tension and pull the reader through more smoothly. For non-fiction or historical fiction, I will also point out areas that need more research, suggest how to enrich the backgrounds of bland characters and lackluster settings, and point out patterns of weak sentence structure or lack of tension.
And in one case, a potential client and I decided to co-author a completely revamped version of her original story. That book, State of Innocence, with S.K. Mason, will be published in July 2021 by the e-publisher Melange Press.
The one thing a personal editor can't do is promise your finished book will get bought and published.
But a good personal editor or writing coach can help writers turn out the best possible draft of your story, giving you the best chance of attracting an agent or publisher.
At the moment, I am not taking on new clients until Fall of 2021.
I will be creating two on-line workshops. One is a 5-week Revisions Workshop. The other is a two-day Life Story Method workshop. If you would be interested in either, contact me through the button below.