Fiction uses the same underlying techniques to tell all kinds of story. Also, most newer writers seem infatuated with being a novelist. Therefore, much of the writing technique advice on this site is directed to fiction. It’s a handy monolith, or maybe I’m lazy.
Maybe that’s not useful to you. If you’re looking for guidance on creating informational materials, your process will be somewhat different… and maybe a bit the same, depending on its nature.
Non-fiction has many forms. The institutional forms are:
- Academic (strict tone and citation conventions)
- Formal (such as business materials)
- Technical (such as manuals)
The forms more common in personal projects are:
- Informational (such as how-to books or articles, with various shades leaning more toward narrative or more toward academic)
- Narrative non-fiction (using a storytelling style to present information plus experience)
- Web copy (which has a stricter topical structure due to keywording)
- Memoir, biography, anecdote
- Creative non-fiction (essays, poetic prose, vignettes)
As an editor, I handle the latter, which incidentally lean more toward narrative.
Why you shouldn’t hire this editor:
Because I’m from the print era (I started in print magazine work back before print died), I harbor a special distaste for SEO-keyworded copy that’s written more to attract machines than to inform humans. I also harbor a similar but even more profound distaste for unsubstantiated and poorly-founded claims. As a result, I am not every online writer’s preferred choice for web copy production.
My areas of interest and skill are well-founded information and anecdotes that address humans. And being web-friendly without getting egregious. That might be why you should hire me. It depends on your aims.
Here’s a checklist for you before hiring an editor.
Do you know your purpose for writing?
Do you know who you’d like to reach out to?
Do you understand the basic contrast between writing for humans and writing for machines?
Have you figured out how to write things people want to read?
Due diligence stuff:
If your project is not memoir or personal anecdote, have you researched beyond summary articles?
If you’re making claims about beliefs, products, people, history, or anything else that involves facts and interpretation, have you researched beyond summary articles?
Okay, then. Here’s a starting place.
1) Send me a note to say you’d like a non-fiction editing sample.
FAQ about that is at the end of this other page.
2) Format up to 2,000 words consisting of one article or book sample as follows:
- Word or Open document
- Times New Roman 12 point font
- Default margins (1″ all the way around)
- Double line spacing
- No extra line space after paragraph breaks
You will send your writing sample as an attached document file after I reply to your first contact.
This is only for single works. Multiple short articles will not be accepted for the sample service.
3. Fee (payable by PayPal): $50 USD.
I do not commence work until the fee’s paid. I’ll give you full payment instructions after you’ve initially contacted me.
4. If this works well for both you and me, we can talk about further services.
What are the further services?
That’s dependent on your project and your goals. We can work out what’s affordable to you while meeting your needs.
Project costs include a base fee calculated by word count and type of editing, a time factor based on lightness or heaviness of editing, and how much time you need for email conversation.
The word count fee is payable before the project commences. It is essentially a deposit that books your place in my calendar. The time fee is payable before the finished work is returned to you.