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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
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
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
There are also some inspiring words on how to
maintain your enthusiasm and how to stay focussed. So check out
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 satisfied
Literary agent rejection
Iíve made a million mistakes in my time. You
can read some of them for yourself on the sample pages from my
novels. But maybe you can learn from my errorsóor at
least compare notes and console yourself that youíre not alone
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
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.
GIDEON'S BIBLE. You can buy this novel now for just £2.99.
It's an adventure/mystery romp about a highly unusual paranormal
investigator and his sidekick exploring some odd things
happening at a remote airbase in Norfolk. See the text below for
ME A LONG WHILE to make this eBook jump (or was I pushed?), and
it's still early days. But I think it's worth exploring further.
Getting a novel published these days is harder than ever. There
can't be one in a thousand writers who will ever seen their work
in mainstream print. Therefore, the alternatives are to publish
your own work. Or give up. And giving up is unthinkable.
To that end, I've
decided to publish a few of my own novels. I'm not expecting to
strike a literary goldmine anytime soon, and nor should you if
you take this route. But if you've got a novel that you really
believe in, a tale that's busting its covers to be read, you
might consider the eBook path.
My mystery novel,
GIDEON'S BIBLE, is therefore available now as a .pdf download.
The price is £2.99
This version, take
note, is an update of the sample you can read elsewhere on this
here to read that sample).
If you like what you
read, you can click on the button below. I think it's a pretty
decent tale. It's fun, a little provocative, has some memorable
and interesting characters, makes a point and tells a decent
tale. But read the sample first and see if it's for you.
And who knows? If you
like my editing style and my approach to writing, you might even
learn something useful.
Any and all
constructive feedback is welcome.
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
Mr Edit. Pitching fiction to a
Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.
Mr Edit. Let's talk about
Links for writers
Here's where you can check out the credentials of literary
agents and publishers. A must for any writer.
Helpful resource for the creative community. Articles, links and
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 out.
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
Like to read a few examples of my style of
writing? Check out the links below. If you like what you read,
and have a manuscript of your own that needs a little help,
email me. I'll do what I can.
Murder and mayhem following an industrial
A light hearted tale about a holiday venture,
with a difference.
An aviator becomes embroiled in a terrorist
Grace of God
A tale of blackmail following a hit-and-run
A middle-aged man takes a couple of suitcase
bombs onto a London underground train.
"Great site. Have picked up a lot of
helpful information. Thanks. And thanks again."
"You're the first person who's properly explained
the active-passive voice."
"I am in your debt. My novel writing skills
have improved no end thanks to yourself."
"Lots to think about here. Very helpful
workshop for aspiring writers and novelists."
"Thank you for the edit you recently did on my
novel. Am still getting rejections, but agents are certainly asking to
see more of my work. As you warned, there's no quick route to success."
"You're the man! Love and kisses."
"My dialogue was weak until I took your advice [he
said]. I still haven't quite got the voices I want, but your help is
"Great site, Mr Edit. I have learned a lot.
"Helpful. Informative. And well presented. Lucky I
stumbled upon your website. Will be back many times, for sure."
"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."
"I am truly impressed with the
scope of your advice. Well worth the £20 fee I paid."
"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."
"Thank you very much. You just might have
saved my novel."
"Oh dear, I can see that I need to go back to
basics. I wish I'd found your website 72,574 words ago."
"I see you've had quite a few beers already. But
here's another one for coming to my rescue."
"Yours is an entertaining website and beautifully
written. By far, it's the best one I've found."
"I used to be afraid of rejection letters for
my novels, and I
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."
"I downloaded a copy of your GIDEON'S BIBLE.
It really ought to be in print. Very enjoyable,
and great characters. I especially like the cow that talks French."
"Started rewriting my novel as you suggested. So
far so good. Am enjoying it again. Thanks for a great site. I've sent
you two beers and a barrel full of thanks."
"I was going to give up until I found your
website. What an amazing amount of free advice. Hope you enjoy that
"Your manuscript critique service was just what I
needed. But ouch! You warned it would be brutal, and II needed that.
"GIDEON'S BIBLE is an excellent novel. Why
aren't you in print, Sir? Looking forward to
"I found your videos on YouTube and have watched
them about ten times each. Truly great advice and encouragement. Keep it
"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
with your service."
"Your website is very handy and informative. Thank you for
highlighting the literary errors of my ways."
"Thank you. It's all useful stuff. I keep dipping
into your site and learning new tricks."
"Fantastic learning experience. My query
letters are so much better. Cheers!"
"I work as a professional writer, but fiction is a
new departure. You've certainly explained a lot. I'll be using your
service again, and I'm happy to recommend you to my friends."
"Best writing advice website I've EVER seen. I've
just bought your Kindle book, GIDEON'S BIBLE, and I'm hooked on it."
[Thanks for saying that, Daniel - Mike]
"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, I might add. But
it's a promising start. Thank you."
"You did a great job on my brochures We'll be
doing business again.".
"Yes, you've got a nice and helpful website."
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
Click the image above
to see more excerpts from
my novels. All feedback, whether good, bad or indifferent,
is welcomed and appreciated.