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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 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.
You can read some of them for yourself on the sample pages from
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 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.
to check out my own novels?
▲ The Valhalla Quantum. You can buy this eNovel now for just
£2.50 from Amazon Kindle.
The Valhalla Quantum is an adventure/mystery romp about a highly unusual
paranormal investigator and his sidekick exploring some odd
things happening at a remote airbase in Norfolk. It was previously called Gideon's Bible, but
as much as I like that title, it just wasn't working well
enough. So there's a warning there about getting the right
title for your own novel. Click the link above, or click on
the book cover. Feedback is welcome.
If you've learned anything from my website, you can see from
my books how I've put my own advice into practice.
▲ Groundspeed. This eNovel is available
for just £1.99 from Amazon Kindle.
Groundspeed a race-against-time novel about a couple
of young aviators who get involved in an aerial rescue that
lands them in a lot of murderous trouble. It's brutal, fast,
high-flying, exciting, and very dangerous. It's also a tale
of betrayal, loyalty and brotherly love. Click the link
above, or click on the book cover.
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 agent.
Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.
Mr Edit. Let's talk about tautology.
Links for writers
& Editors. 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
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
The 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
"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 much appreciated."
"Great site, Mr Edit.
I have learned a lot. Thanks."
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
"I see you've had quite
a few beers already. But here's another one for coming to my
"Yours is an entertaining
website and beautifully written. By far, it's the best one I've
"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 beer."
"Your manuscript critique
service was just what I needed. But ouch! You warned it would
be brutal, and II needed that. Great advice."
"GIDEON'S BIBLE is an
excellent novel. Why aren't you in print, Sir? Looking forward
to the movie!"
"I found your videos on
YouTube and have watched them about ten times each. Truly great
advice and encouragement. Keep it up please."
"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.
"You did a great job on
my brochures We'll be doing business again.".
"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
Click the image above
to see more excerpts from
my novels. All feedback, whether good, bad or indifferent,
is welcomed and appreciated.