Book editing for writers
been said many times that having your manuscript or novel professionally
edited makes it just that little bit less un-publishable.
Thereís truth in that statement.
Up to a point.
Not every manuscript is, after all, worth editing.
Fact is, some are so poor they ought to be in a workhouse, not
a publishing house. Itís no sin, mind. No shame. Itís just that
good writing takes time to develop and generally wonít be rushed.
You live, you learn.
So it goes.
Other manuscripts, meanwhile, are good, but not
quite good enough. Theyíve got style and substance and are generally
sound. But they need that extra edge.
Which is where guys like myself come in.
So welcome to my editing desk.
Iím an editor primarily, a ghostwriter secondly,
and a novelist too. I fix failing fiction and ailing articles
and help bail out sinking books. I donít promise anything except
my best, and I offer no guarantees, written or implied, except
the promise of a tough road to success.
But if youíre lost for words, stuck for style,
or just need a fresh pair of eyes to perk up your prose, youíve
come to the right place.
Practically all broken manuscripts can be repaired.
All shaky novels can be salvaged, at a price. But if I feel
that yours is beyond economically viable help, I'll tell you
and will advise on how and where to begin again.
I'm confident enough that my editing services
and skills are second to none. But I make no offers to "work
within your budget"ówhich is usually a euphemism for a cut price
and therefore inadequate service.
As with most things in life, you get what you
pay for, and the last thing you want to do before submitting
your hard-wrought manuscript is to saddle it with a cheap edit.
So shop around and see what else is on offer.
There are some good editors out there, and one or two ... well,
less than good.
It's a buyer's market.
Aspiring writers looking for help and advice
might care to check out the links on these workshop pages. There
are lots of free tips here on how to find a literary agent;
how to handle rejection; how to submit a query letter, how to
plot a novelóplus monographs on many other subjects pertinent
to the tricky business of quality creative writing.
There are also some inspiring words on how to
maintain your enthusiasm and how to stay focussed. So check
for writers page, and see what I have to say on the
contentious subject of
But if and when you need one-to-one advice and
guidance, you might want to consider my
Workshop. It's a telephone service in which we
can talk directly about your work and your problems. So far,
the feedback on this service is positive, and I've had only
Literary agent rejection
Iíve made a million mistakes in my time,
literary and otherwise. That's how we learn, of course.
Through our errors. But as long as the mistakes aren't
fatal, we can usually build upon them. And sometimes we can
build upon the errors of others. That's fundamentally what
Everything I do is handled right here by myself.
I donít sub-out work. I donít buy editing services. What you
see is what you get; one editor with 25-plus years at the sharp
end. I think my services are second to none and reasonably priced.
So can I help you with your project?
Having spoken to dozens of literary agents, and
having interviewed many of them at length, it's become clearer
and clearer about what makes them tick and what makes them reject
manuscripts. There's a definite art and skill in writing compelling
literary agent query letters query letters. There are tricks
and ploys and subtle literary mechanisms. There are writing
If you can crack the code for yourself, then
good luck to you. But if you need support, you're in the right
place at the right time.
So whenever you're ready, email for a
quote. There's always
scope for improvement, and it really can make the difference
between acceptance and rejection. Remember that today's literary
agents and publishers are flooded with hopeful material and
will accept only the absolute best.
If you credit it, edit it.
And in the meantime, keep writing.
Never give up.
Hey! What's the flashing
pause button for?
It marks a pay wall. That's the simple answer. It
means that you can read all the material on this page outside of the pay wall, gratis. But then you have
Why? Because writing is my business, and like everyone else
I need to capitalise on my skills and abilities. There are
25,000 words of great advice behind the pay wall, and on the
free side of it there
are thousands more.
MR EDIT'S WRITING ADVICE
FOR AUTHORS - £1.99
I like to think that my help and guidance is excellent, and
I haven't any doubt that as a writer you'll benefit greatly
from it. So I'm looking for a modest £1.99 for access to my
professional knowledge. That's about the price of a cup of
coffee. Decent coffee, that is.
If you don't want to pay, then enjoy the rest of my site
(including access to my YouTube videos) and look elsewhere
for your free information. However, I'm confident that in
my 25,000 words I've dealt with points and issues that other websites
ignore. And even if, in places, I'm
rehashing existing advice, I believe my reiteration will
nevertheless help cement the knowledge in your mind and will
help you become a significantly better writer.
You'll find a PayPal button below the pause button (on the
relevant pages). Hit that button and you'll go straight to
PayPal. You don't need an account; just a credit or debit
card. I don't collect your data. I'm out of that particular
When you buy, I'll receive notification. As soon as I do,
I'll send you a PDF file with my 25,000 words. Usually,
that happens within minutes. Sometimes it takes up to an
hour. And very occasionally it takes 24 hours. Either way,
you'll get your words.
£1.99 is what it costs to find out if I'm telling it like it
is. If you want to be a great writer, you have to invest in
Edit YouTube videos
Meanwhile, here are
some of my You Tube videos that might be of interest to you.
Hope you enjoy them.
Mr Edit. Let's talk about dialogue
Mr Edit. Pitching fiction to a literary
Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.
Mr Edit. Let's talk about tautology.
Preditors & Editors.
Here's where you can check out the credentials of literary agents and
publishers. A must for any writer.
Creative Helps. Helpful
resource for the creative community. Articles, links and tips.
Nick Daws' Writing Blog.
Lots of useful posts on all aspects of writing, both for print and online,
plus a guest post for anyone who wants to make a contribution. Check it
Mr Edit online adverts
● Professional editing service
● Literary agent query letters
● Literary criticism: top tips
● Finding a literary agent
● Online literary criticism: a warning
Back to the top
Plotting a novel
Finding a literary agent
Choosing a literary agent
Agent query letters
Inspiration for writers
5 minute fiction fix
How to get published
Active & passive voice
David Hall: "Great site. Have picked
up a lot of helpful information. Thanks. And thanks again."
Karen S: "You're the
who's really explained the active-passive voice."
T.P. Preston: "I
am in your debt. My writing skills have improved no end.
Peter Watts: "Lots to think about
Very helpful w/shop for aspiring writers."
Marik Gireux: "Thank you for the edit
you did on my novel. Am still getting rejections, but
agents are certainly asking to see more of my work. There's
no quick route to success."
Tanya Cole: "You're the man! Love
Aneta French: "My dialogue was weak
until I took your advice. I still haven't quite got
the voices I want, but your help is much appreciated."
I.M. Flecther: "Great site, Mr Edit.
Have learned a lot."
Jim Baley: "Helpful. Informative.
And well presented. Lucky I stumbled upon your website. Will
be back many times, for sure."
Hopeful Sam: "You were right. The novel
was too long. I've cut almost 40,000 words, and it's better
for it. Now I have to [groan] re-edit it. But no pain, no gain,
etc. Thanks for your advice and help."
Timothy Berry: "I am truly impressed
with the scope of your advice. Well worth the £20 fee I paid."
Betty Ling: "I can't believe how bad
my agent query letters were. Still, you've perfectly explained
what I was doing wrong. I've now got two agent asking for the
full MSS. Fingers crossed."
Quentin Groos: "Thank you very much.
You might have saved my novel."
Trisha Arkell: "Oh dear, I can see that
I need to go back to basics. I wish I'd found your website 72,574
Mr Trottman: "Thanks."
Ria: "They say it's
never too late to learn. I just wished I'd learned long ago what you've taught me. Thank you!"
Siobahn Cavendish: "Yours is an entertaining
website and beautifully written. By far, it's the best one I've
Eleanor Knell: "I used to be afraid of
rejection letters, and still am. But you've
taught me how to cope with them and have given lots of hope
and encouragement. Best regards to you, and thank you."
Greg Wickens: "Started rewriting my
novel as you suggested. So far so good. Am enjoying it again.
Thanks for a great site."
"I was going to give up until I found your website. What an
amazing amount of advice."
Peta Horovice: "Your manuscript critique
service was just what I needed. But ouch! You warned it would
be brutal, and I needed that."
Saul Morrison: "I'm humbled. I
never realised that there were so many holes in my writing.
Here's hoping that I learn to plug them all."
Keith Boucher: "I found your videos on
YouTube and have watched them about ten times each. Truly great
advice and encouragement."
Ricki Hodgkin: "Plotting my novels was
always my weakness, and still is. But I've learned some valuable
lessons, Mike. I'll be sending you the finished [latest] novel
for a full edit."
Mrs May Ogden: "You've got a wonderful
knack of making complicated things easy to understand, and very
amusing. Am very pleased."
Gina Padgett: "Your website is very
handy and informative. Thank you for highlighting the literary
errors of my ways."
A.V.P: "Thank you. It's all useful
stuff. I keep dipping into your site and learning new tricks."
Sasha Osborn: "Fantastic learning experience.
My query letters are so much better. Cheers!"
Jamilla: "I work as a professional
writer, but fiction is a new departure. You've explained
a lot. I'm happy to recommend
you to my friends."
Daniel Orcutt: "Best writing advice website
I've EVER seen. Top man."
"For a guy who doesn't claim to be a proof reader, you did a
wonderful edit on my articles. I sold both to the first
[magazine] editor I sent them too. They don't pay much. But it's a promising start.
"You did a great job on my brochures We'll be doing business
Darley Anderson: "Yes, you've got a nice
and helpful website."
Anderson, top UK literary agent, on books,
publishing and success
creator of the action-packed Charlie Fox series of books
Kleinman, New York literary agent, talks shop
CrŤme de la Crime:
An interview with Lynne Patrick, publisher and managing
editor of a smalleróbut