Editing Romance

Romance is hard to write because there are so many romance writers out there. Some write raunchy romance; some write historical romance; some write traditional girl meets boy, girl hates boy, girl suddenly likes boy, they get married.

I think the key to writing a good romance is to develop really fascinating characters. The reader has to feel strongly for the two main characters, though they both have to have noticeable flaws. The reader has to want the couple to work out. And there have to be plausible obstacles.

But romance also has to follow the Three-Act structure. In the first act, all the players, the conflicts, and the dreams of the characters have to be introduced. In the second act everything has to fall to pieces. And in the third act the hero or heroine shows who they really are, and someone has to get together.

I strongly recommend writers outline their stories. Break up your outline into three acts. Break up each act into a certain number of chapters, maybe 10 – 15 chapters for the first act; 8 – 12 for the second act; and 10 – 15 for the third act. When I write, my chapters tend to be short–1500 to 2000 words–so I aim for a total of about 35 chapters in my outlines, and my first draft tends to expand that to 40 or 50 chapters. Pacing is also important. Some sections of your book need to sprint, while others can be more reflective (though not for too long).

A large portion of the books I edit are romances. I can help you develop your story, copy edit your first draft, or proofread after your beta readers have given you feedback on your third draft.

Contact me at steppenwolfedww@hotmail.com.


Editing Nonfiction

Most of the books I edit or proofread are fiction; romance, historical, mystery, fantasy. But editing nonfiction is a nice change of pace, also. I recently proofread a great book about re-examining every aspect of one’s life in order to determine what really makes one happy, and what doesn’t belong in one’s life. It was refreshing!

I edited a book last year about the history of human rights violations. I also edited a book about Amelia Earhart. And one about the British political system.

One thing I love about editing is that I get to learn about something while I work.


Editing Murder Mysteries

I edit for a couple of murder mystery writers.  What I like about this genre is that it has, at the same time, a fairly rigid set of requirements for structure, and a great deal of creative flexibility.

I recommend that all of the material characters are introduced as early as reasonably possible. I think it’s best to have at least three plausible suspects, but four or five can be a good number, too. I find that writers sometimes do such a detailed job of setting up the crime, that they forget to leave misdirection clues. Who else was at the scene of the crime? Who else had a strong motive? Who is the reader encouraged to dislike or mistrust? Don’t make it too easy! Readers love trying to solve the mystery like they love a good crossword puzzle.

Are you writing a murder mystery? I can provide proofreading and copy editing when you’re done writing. Or I can help you as your developmental editor–make the plot and character development stronger, more compelling. The better I know your work, the better I can help you brainstorm your next story.

Two Years Editing Books!

I will be celebrating two years of professionally editing books in November. I have really enjoyed proofreading and developmental editing for my amazing clients. I just finished a fifth book for Amy Corwin! Her murder mystery romances are elegant and intelligent.

I’ve edited about a dozen books for Heidi Garrett, and I know she is working on something awesome right now in her faerie fantasy series!

And I’ve proofread three books for Thea Dawson, whose smart little romances will keep you turning pages!

I have worked with lots of other authors of fiction and non-fiction, and I can’t wait to hear from you! Email me at steppenwolfedww@hotmail.com and let me know more about your project!

Summer is Over – Time to Write!

It was way too hot in western Oregon for my taste this summer. I’m glad autumn is here. And now that you may be done vacationing, it might be time to get back to that book you were writing. Whether it’s a novel or your life story, or a book about baby names or international tea pricing trends, I hope you finish it!

And then you’ll need someone to proofread it, or help you develop it. That’s where I come in. I’ve provided developmental editing and line editing for books about faeries, books about searching for the truth about Amelia Earhart, books on human rights atrocities, books on motivating people to get healthier and wealthier, romance novels, regency romance and mystery novels, books about monsters and books about Renaissance painters and mental patients.

I would be happy to help you make your book even more awesome. Check out my Services and Terms, and then contact me at steppenwolfedww@hotmail.com. I have many satisfied, repeat clients.

Enjoy autumn!

Ghostwriting for Memoirs

I am currently working on a comprehensive edit for a memoir, and as I work on this large project, I imagine things that would make the manuscript more and more interesting, while staying rooted in the voice and the facts about the life events of this client.

Hiring a ghostwriter is not cheap. I would not recommend it unless you, the client, expect at least a 5-digit income from the completed book.

Contact me at steppenwolfedww@hotmail.com if you would like to discuss your memoir idea!

I’ve written and published two novels. I’m a relentless researcher and a highly-experienced interviewer. As an editor and a writer, I’m adept with story structure, conflict and appropriate resolution, dialog, and voice and tone of characters and narrative.

I can help you make your memoir sing!