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Book editing for writers


Royal typewriter graphicItís been said many times that having your manuscript 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.

Or polish.

Which is where guys like myself, Mr Edit, come in.

So welcome to my editing desk.


Editing services


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.

Or failure.

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. 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 very good editors out there, and one or two ... well, less than good.

It's a buyer's market.

Buy carefully.


Writer's workshop


Aspiring writers looking for help and advice might care to check out the links on these pages. There are lots of free tips on how to find a literary agent; how to handle rejection; 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 out my Inspiration for writers page, and see what I have to say on the contentious subject of Writer's block.

But if and when you need one-to-one advice and guidance, you might want to consider my Writer's 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 very good, and I've had only satisfied customers.


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 out there.

Everything I do is handled right here by me. I donít sub-out work. I donít buy editing services. What you see is what you get; one editor with 25 years at the sharp end. I think I'm pretty good and reasonably priced. So can I help you with your project?

Whenever you're ready, email me 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 best.

If you credit it, edit it.

And in the meantime, keep writing.

Never give up.


Mike O'Neill




If you want, you can check out some more of my writing style by taking a look at my mystery novel, GIDEON'S BIBLE which is now for sale on Amazon's Kindle.


If you don't have a Kindle reader, you can download a Kindle app for your PC, Macintosh, Smartphone or tablet.


It took me a while to make this eBook jump (or was I pushed?), and it's still early days. But as a reading platform, Kindle is growing rapidly, and you've got to be "in it to win it". I think it's worth exploring.


This version of GIDEON'S BIBLE, take note, is an update of the sample you can read elsewhere on this site. If you want to get the best from your writing, you need to edit, wait a while, and re-edit.


The book is priced at around $3.00 US, or whatever that converts to in other currencies. 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 dialogue





Mr Edit. Pitching fiction to a literary agent.





Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.





Mr Edit. Let's talk about tautology.




Links for writers


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 out.










Creative writing


Sample writing

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.


Sample 1

Dirty Business

Murder and mayhem following an industrial pollution cover-up.


Sample 2


A light hearted tale about a holiday venture, with a difference.


Sample 3

Exit Point

An aviator becomes embroiled in a terrorist murder plot.


Sample 4

The Grace of God

A tale of blackmail following a hit-and-run incident.


Sample 5

Exclusion Zone

A middle-aged man takes a couple of suitcase bombs onto a London underground train.




Special features


Darley Anderson, literary agent

Darley Anderson, top UK literary agent, on books,
publishing and success

ZoŽ Sharp, thriller writer

ZoŽ Sharp, creator of the action-packed Charlie Fox series of books

Jeff Kleinman, literary agent

Jeff Kleinman, New York literary agent, talks shop

Creme de la Crime logo

CrŤme de la Crime:
An interview with Lynne Patrick, publisher and managing editor of a smalleróbut essentialóBritish publishing house.

Michael O'Neill fiction home page

Click the image above
to see more excerpts from
my novels. All feedback,  whether good, bad or indifferent, is welcomed and appreciated.




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"My dialogue was very weak until I took your advice [he said]. I still haven't quite got the voices I want, but your help is much appreciated."


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"I used to be afraid of rejection letters, and I still am. But you've taught me how to cope with them and have given me lots of hope and encouragement. Best regards to you, and thank you."


Gayle Burman

"I downloaded your Kindle book too, and I enjoyed it a lot. GIDEON'S BIBLE really ought to be in print. Very enjoyable, and great characters. I especially like the cow that talks French."


Greg Wickens

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Saul Morrison

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Ricki Hodgkin

"Plotting was always my weakness, and still is. But you've taught me some very valuable lessons, Mike. I'll be sending you the finished novel for a full edit."


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"Thank you. Enjoy the beer."


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Daniel Orcutt

"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]


Mark Prinz

"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 editor I sent them too. They don't pay much, I might add. But it's a promising start. Thank you."


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