Services For Writers

Image by Klappe, via Pixabay

The Service I Offer

We all need help with our writing, and bringing our vivid imaginings to life on the page. We've been so close to a project, for so long, that it is hard to see it with objective eyes.

When I take on a manuscript I look at various areas of the work and how they can be improved, at two levels.
  • Overview of the whole work: structure, themes, plot, pacing, characterisation, tone, reader engagement, and character development. This is often referred to as developmental, literary or structural editing. At this macro level the story as a whole is the main focus.
  • Nitty gritty: work on language, readability, grammar, spelling, style, consistency, voice, imagery, and presentation, along with any typographical errors. So this includes elements of proofreading and copyediting. At this micro level the individual words used to tell the story are the main focus.
Usually I mark up the text itself to identify errors and improvements relating to the areas above. In some cases I draft a separate reader's report with ideas for improvement under various headings, whichever are most relevant to the work in hand, identifying general strengths and weaknesses in the story and your writing, and including any areas where more work might be required. We can discuss this during the initial consultation.

This service counts as a mix of developmental edit and copyedit; after making any suggested changes you agree with, and rewriting where required, the book would still need a final proofread (ideally from a fresh pair of eyes).

Although no creative work can ever be perfect, I guarantee that my contributions will improve your novel or short stories. Your book deserves that.

Fees

£4 per 1,000 words. This would work out at £280 for a novel of 70,000 words. Payment is by Paypal, bank transfer, or cash, with half paid in advance.

For countries other than the UK we can just convert costs to your local currency (e.g. $USD or $AUD) at whatever the exchange current rate is. Editing would be based on your country: so I'd stick to US spellings if you are in the US, and so on.

You also have the option of paying me to edit part of a book instead of the whole work, or doing it in sections. For example, since openings are so important, I could edit the first 10,000 words. That would give you a lot to think about that you could probably apply across the whole book, or in future works, and you'd still have the option of having me look over another 10,000 words later (which you could have revised and improved based on my previous comments).

Enquiries

Send details of your work (synopsis or description) and a sample to: editing@karldrinkwater.uk.

I'll reply as soon as possible, and if I am available to do editorial work I'll read the first five pages and give you some feedback for free, so you can see the kind of things I spot and whether my editorial work will be useful to you. We can take it from there if you'd like me to work on your full manuscript.

I take on very few editing clients, and restrict myself to authors whose work shows real potential, but can also be improved. If I work with you then you've impressed me with your prose, style, ideas or storytelling.

Why Choose Me?

As a fellow practitioner, I know the work involved with editing or rewriting a novel, and even restructuring to enhance the story and themes. My own work goes through this process several times, so I am fully versed with the combined pain and pleasure involved.

My background has always revolved around communication and language. My first degree was in English and Classics (BA First Class); my second was an MSc in Information Studies. As well as being an author, I've had a career as a university librarian specialising in information literacy.

I've helped a number of authors improve their work, and done appraisals of manuscripts for small publishers and independent authors. I've been a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and undertaken one of the Publishing Training Centre courses. My bookshelf is crammed with style guides, dictionaries, books on writing and copy-editing, Hart's Rules etc. Yes, I really do read all this stuff for pleasure! (Have a look at my posts about the business of writing to see the level of detail I drill down to, and posts such as 13 Tips For Writers.) I have also judged writing competitions such as the BBC’s 500 Words.

As an example, for one author I worked with I'd suggested ways to reinforce the imagery and motifs she was keen on using, and we worked on strengthening dialogue in a few areas by making it more naturalistic whilst removing stilted phrases. I also improved the use of language and fixed typos. There were some perspective changes in the work's ending that could be confusing to the reader, so they were clarified to make the ending much stronger.

If required, I can also help with book formatting (styles, formats) and advise on cover design and marketing.

Lastly: I won't beat around the bush. I'll tell you when things aren't working, and suggest ways to improve them.

Testimonials

"Wow, thank you so much for your swift and professional turnaround! I can’t wait to implement your suggested changes - starting tomorrow :-) Your feedback and insight have been great! A million thanks again for all your amazing work. I hope you don’t mind that I have sneaked you into my Acknowledgments?"
-- M.P. Tonnesen, author of The Cosmopolitan Islander and Desert Skies, Rebel Souls; October 2017

"Karl Drinkwater did a great edit on my novel, going well beyond my expectations of a line edit into much deeper territory. I'll be spending a few weeks on it once I've finished the first draft of my next novel as I don't want to lose momentum on that (which I'll also hopefully be sending to him, if he's not sick of my stuff by then!)"
-- Ed Ryder, author of In Vitro Lottery; August 2017

"Karl's insight has been tremendously useful. He helped me polish the opening chapters of my novel (currently on submission with agents) and critiqued and edited one of my short stories. He also shared several resources with me on improving dialogue. With Karl, you get an editor who understands writing and an author who understands storytelling. His knowledge shows in his thoughtful and considered suggestions. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Karl, and also to use his services in the future."
-- Amy Kitcher, author of Blood Will Tell and First Blood; July 2017

"Karl did a close reading of my novel and sent back a list of typos, inconsistencies and plot queries which a team of editors and proofreaders had missed. Incredibly impressed. He will be my first line of defense on any future work."
-- Leonora Meriel, author of The Woman Behind the Waterfall and The Unity Game; July 2017

"A very special big THANK YOU! I am very grateful for your advice and appreciate the time you put in to help me. It's impossible for one person to catch everything, so having an extra pair of eyes on my work was useful, along with the tips and links you shared. The editing you did was amazing and thorough. Thanks again Karl, love your work!"
-- Kitty Boyes, author of numerous novels, short stories, children's books and non-fiction books; June 2017

"Thank you for the quick turn around, your comments were exactly what I was hoping to receive - critical feedback."
-- L.B. Stimson, author of Redwood; April 2017

"Absolutely love Karl's editing; honest, clear, and often with a touch of humor that kept the dark clouds of editing away. I had completed two books with several editorial passes each with another wonderful editor but having fresh eyes checking the final manuscript truly gave them the finishing polish they needed, and gave me the extra boost in confidence to move on to the next step in marketing to brick and mortar book stores and libraries. I look forward to working with Karl on my next book."
-- Savanna Redman, author of Butterfly Bones; The Dream Journal of Amanda J. Wilde; The Goddess Colorizing Journal; March 2017

"You went above and beyond with your analysis."
-- John A. Galeotto, author of Something Wicked; December 2016

1 comments:

Savanna Redman said...

Absolutely love Karl's editing; honest, clear, and often with a touch of humor that kept the dark clouds of editing away. I had completed two books with several editorial passes each with another wonderful editor but having fresh eyes checking the final manuscript truly gave them the finishing polish they needed, and gave me the extra boost in confidence to move on to the next step in marketing to brick and mortar book stores and libraries.
I look forward to working with Karl on my next book.