I run the editing services business Writer Therapy. Feel free to check out my portfolio there, or request a quote. I personally work as a developmental editor and story analyst, though I have very high standards for the editors that I hire and work with at Writer Therapy. I can strongly recommend every single one listed, and all associate editors and analysts go through my in-depth training and are provided with ongoing guidance from me.
PLEASE NOTE: For those interested in working with me, I encourage you to snag your spot in advance. My client calendar is usually completely booked 3-4 months in advance. As much as I would love to take on projects with earlier deadlines, I won’t be able to. I apologize for the inconvenience.
I’m a professional freelance editor with over 15 years of experience. I have a special emphasis in adult science fiction and fantasy, and all genres of young adult, but I’ve worked with all fiction genres. At this time, I prefer not to work with non-fiction, erotica, or Christian fiction. I have edited for New York Times Bestselling authors such as Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells (I am mentioned in the acknowledgements) and a few Hollywood actors. Because of my experience, I understand the traditional and indie marketplace and help guide on the increased marketability of a book. I also teach at several writing conferences each year and have been a guest lecturer at college and high school writing classes. I have been personally trained in FSNA as a Story Analyst by Katherine J. Farmer and am currently working on the writing craft book, The Story Cone Method.
I do this job because I love it and I bring that same enthusiasm to your edit as I help you learn how to elevate your craft. I see my job as going to the heart of the story to find the best option for solutions that feel organic to your story.
BOOKS I LOVE AND RECOMMEND
- The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
- Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – Plot Twists & Character Backstory
- Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – Story Structure (pay special attention to plot twists and building to the climactic moment at the end of the novel and within each scene–added bonus: notice how descriptions are interwoven with character)
- Nation by Terry Pratchett – Theme (also pay attention to characterization, dialogue, setting and description, and writing POC and female characters)
- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo or Saving Francesca by Melena Marchetta – Theme
- Guards, Guards or Witches Abroad or Night Watch by Terry Pratchett – Dialogue
- Shutter or Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda – Pacing/tension
- The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith – Voice, Style, and Point of View
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie or Feed by M.T. Anderson – Voice
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown – World Building (pay special attention to setting descriptions)
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller or Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda – Polished Prose
(1) Some of these books may take 50-100 pages to get into, but it is worth it.
(2) To gain the most out of a book, read it at least 3 times. The first time for plot. The second time with a highlighter and pen to mark good sentences and examples of writing well done. The third time to really deconstruct and analyze what the author has done: for the plot as a whole, for each scene, and with each line.
(3) You can also dissect every one of these books as a good example for characters, prose, and plot.
While my tastes in story can be eclectic, I tend to love stories with smart characters and an engaging plot. Throw in great romantic tension or awesome worldbuilding (even if that world is a contemporary setting), and I’m hooked. I’m a big fan of stories full of court intrigue or sword and sorcery, and I specialize in Ancient Roman (both Republic and Empire) and have spent the last several years studying the deep nuances of the history, culture, religion, and mythology. I also love science fiction that uses great technology and an intelligent plot (think Westworld). For YA, I love pretty much everything that gives the authentic feel to the teen experience (think Freaks and Geeks), and will help give insights on how to give your story a fresh feel for the current market.
Having been trained in the Farmer System of Narrative Analysis (FSNA)—also known as The Story Cone Method—I provide a service you can’t find anywhere outside of Writer Therapy. This is a ground-breaking system of analysis that helps “code” out a story. For those familiar with The Hero’s Journey (a pattern of narrative identified by scholar Joseph Campbell), FSNA gives empirical evidence as to why that pattern resonates with so many audiences and readers—and goes further to identify all the other patterns for the different kinds and types of story available. FSNA is based on over 35 years of empirical research, builds off established literary theory, and has years of refinement in college classrooms, conference workshops, and real-world applications.
This patent-pending process gives insights into your stories that you won’t find anywhere else. This method will better enable you to connect with your target audience and get to the heart of your story, thus giving you solutions to the weaknesses and problems inherent in the manuscript that feel organic to the story itself—the kind of problems most critics will just point out but have no solution for. This also helps enable you as the author to not just be a “one-hit wonder” with one successful title that can never quite be repeated, but create a strong career as an author.
The Story Cone is useful for anyone who works with story, from fiction to non-fiction, including authors, screenwriters, marketing specialists, film critics, actors, and more. Attendees of this class have gone on to win awards, find publishing houses, and navigate successful careers.
I also have a minor in editing from Brigham Young University and a major in English with a creative writing emphasis. I have taken classes or had advance training from Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Holly Black, Martine Leavitt, and others.