Are you a fiction writer? If yes, proceed.
If no, then you don’t need the following checklist, you need the non-fiction page.
To see a few of my favorite past projects, view my editing portfolio.
Here’s a checklist for before you hire a fiction editor.
Did you do all the essential things?
- Did you take time to build your creative mind? This is not a months thing, it’s a years thing.
- Are you comfortable with the elements of fiction paragraphs?
- Does the causal logic of scene flow make sense and are you doing it?
- Does your story move forward from scene to scene in a connected way?
- Do you know your story’s larger journey?
- Have you given and received critique in a healthy, constructive environment?
- Do you understand the full scope and the teamwork involved in quality book production?
Okay, then. Here’s a starting place.
1) Send me a note to say you’d like a First Ten Pages editorial critique.
FAQ about that is at the end of this page.
2) Format the first 3,000 words (approximately 10 pages) of your story 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 the start of your story, or for short stories 3,000 words and under. Random sections of your novel will not be accepted for the ten-page critique service.
3. Fee (payable by PayPal): $60 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.
A brief FAQ
“What is the first ten pages fiction critique/2,000 word non-fiction sample edit?”
It’s a low-cost way to meet and greet with an editor, and a chance for the editor to show you some pizzazz. That’s right, young whippersnapper, back in my day they called it pizzazz.
It’s much more in-depth than most critique group feedback. We’ll be going over your work line by line, with detailed suggestions on how to implement essential techniques more strongly.
“Isn’t there a discount for stories/samples under the word count limit?”
ALSO “I’m only writing short blog pieces, can’t I send you six shorter things or else get a discount on my sample?”
No. Sample edit prices have a baseline for time spent on client communication.
“But I’ve already had my novel’s first pages edited by three different editors!”
Then you don’t have enough different first pages. You must write many things before it’s even time to be querying editors. Stop fixating, go back to the start of the checklist, and build your creative muscles. Either that, or it’s time to commit to an editorial review of the full manuscript.
“But novels take so much time and I want to perfect this one and release it to the world!”
1) No, they don’t. Professional indies have determined it takes about four books a year to make an income. If you’re serious about doing this on a level that requires the expense of editing, it’ll really help to figure out your own best way to draft in 90 days or less. See also NaNoWriMo.
2) Stop fixating on the novel form. It’s not the Holy Grail. There’s Wattpad serials, blogging, short stories, narrative essays, all kinds of things. Go back to the start of the checklist and build your creative muscles.
If you’re not really motivated to do that right now, it’s not the time to be querying editors. It’s too expensive for what you’ll be able to do with the advice. Most of all, it’s more important that you be at peace with your honest state of mind than that you do a book this year.
“I emailed you this morning, why haven’t I heard back yet, did you get my email?”
Yes, but sometime after high school, I also got a life. It occasionally takes me away from my desk.
If you ask me something that I need to think about, I won’t reply immediately. You’ll get a thoughtful answer that’s been thoroughly considered.
“What further services do you provide?”
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.