New to Inkslinger?  If so, I hope this page aims to give you insight into my working process.

The writer-editor relationship, like any relationship, involves trust.  With that trust, you can move forward into revision and submissions with your energy high and your momentum accelerating.  But in an Internet and Digital world, figuring out who you can trust can be challenging—especially when it concerns something unique and carefully fostered like your manuscript.

Most of my clients discover Inkslinger through direct referrals from agents or other writers.  I am fortunate in this regard, as the presence of a direct referral means writers and I can start off on a high level of trust.  In those cases, a writer and I might decide to dive immediately into targeted, detailed editing work.  That is the most efficient way to receive specific feedback on the writing and to get down to the business of revision.  If you would like more details about this editing choice, please contact me.  I will ask follow-up questions to get a clear picture about the manuscript, then provide you with an estimate for a first round of editing.

This editing round is not meant to be necessarily comprehensive, but it is meant to get you into revision effectively and efficiently by focusing your attention on the most important revision concerns to consider.  I offer tailored advice to resolve issues specific to your manuscript, treating every project as a fresh challenge while also bringing a decade of experience to the work. I see my job as presenting options. This might include advice on the following issues:

  • Making sure the pitch and the manuscript work as a team
  • Adjusting narrative point of view so that individual scenes are easier to follow and the manuscript is unified
  • Shifting how nonfiction arguments open and develop
  • Identifying a more exciting opening to set the stage for plot and character development from beginning to end
  • Compressing characters and managing their internal voices
  • Transforming passages of telling prose
  • Presenting character motivation and development through action
  • Intensifying the ending and the cathartic experience of a story, making the reader want to rave about the book via all the social media at their fingertips

After you review the editing work and know what revision path lies ahead, we continue working together during revision in whatever capacity you need, from looking at a few chapters to reviewing the full revision.


What about an Initial Evaluation . . . 

While the above is my standard way of editing, I also know the benefits, for both writer and editor, of testing out the waters and getting to know each other a little better first.  I readily acknowledge that not every editor is a fit for every manuscript.  As an author, it’s important to know how an editor understands and interprets the work, as this influences comments and suggestions for revision.  For that reason, I also offer as a service an Initial Evaluation.  This option is available only for fiction manuscripts.

For an Initial Evaluation, I require submission of the entire manuscript. By reading the manuscript from beginning to end, I can properly judge the development of lines of tension, characters, themes, and narrative structure. After examining the manuscript, I send back 3–4 pages of substantive comments.  This document is akin to the “Reader Report” generated within literary agencies about considered submissions (I work in this capacity for agents as time allows, so I know intimately manuscripts are approached and discussed internally).  In this evaluation, I identify structural and/or technical problems that affect the work overall and, if warranted, explain how I can address these concerns through additional editing that offers rigorous, specific advice.

There is a fee for an initial evaluation: $2.00/500 words.  For manuscripts over 150,000 words, please contact me for options.

Manuscript should be formatted in the standard way acceptable for agent submissions:

  • Microsoft Word .doc/.docx
  • Times New Roman or Courier fonts, pt. 12
  • double-spaced text
  • no extra lines between paragraphs, each paragraph indented .5″
  • chapter breaks indicated with page breaks
  • title page with contact information and word count

I mean for the initial evaluation to provide enough commentary for you to begin revising.  You will come away with a direction to consider and to implement.  Some writers first pursue revision based on the initial evaluation, then return with a fresh draft for more detailed editing.