Thursday, October 1, 2020

Capturing Creativity in 2020

 

    I am not only an editor who is passionate about helping clients reach their publishing goals, but I am also a writer who is working to get published myself. I've loved to write since I was in elementary school, and even submitted a novel to Stephen King's publisher when I was 11. It was handwritten, I had no representation, and I had no idea what I was doing. The publishing house was kind enough to send a personalized rejection letter and encouraged me to reach out again when I had proper representation and was perhaps a little older. 

    When I returned to my publishing pursuits in 2011, it was like being that 11-year-old all over again. Like most of us, I've heard the many stories - almost urban legend level stories - about writers who churn out books in a matter of weeks and get signed faster than most of us can come up with a proper query. Some of these "overnight" successes are anything but, and some are based on the fact the writer had the right book at the right time. Some are the best pages ever read, and some are far from becoming the next Great American Novel. 

    For me, writing is a place where I can dive into the creative recesses of my mind and build a world of magic and fun. It's refuge and solace - hot Twinings Lady Grey in a Lenox tea cup. However, in 2020, the writing process for me has had some serious ups and downs. Do you feel this way too? 

    One of the lows has been fighting with a persistent case of writer's block. When I find myself frustrated and unable to type another word, I'll return to my research and see if anything there inspires me to revisit the page. Sometimes that works, but sometimes I have to do something else. It could be something related to writing, like reading a book or writing a poem or even editing. Or, it could be taking a nap or a walk outside to see the changing leaves. It all honestly depends on how bad the block is that day.

    On the other hand, one of the highs has been when the block clears I have been able to build more fantastical worlds and interesting characters than ever before. The words and story come so fast, I can hardly type quickly enough. It's thrilling and exciting, especially when only an hour has passed and I've written over almost 3,000 words. So, like 2020, I suppose we have to take the good with the bad. 

    Another high happened this summer and was related to the work I do for Scribbler Services. I reviewed the query and synopsis one of my clients had gotten some rejections on, and after a few conversations I realized their struggles were similar to my own. Almost ten years ago, I had no knowledge of where to even start. Thankfully, my client already knew more than I did when I started out, but the issues they encountered were related more to how much information is out there and knowing what is the right or best information for them.

    Therefore, I'm excited to share I have decided to use this space to provide all the tips, tricks, and advice I've been given by agents, editors, publishers, teachers, and more since 2011. For me, it's another way to help others in a way others helped me, and it's a way for me to capture creativity in this crazy year, especially in case the writer's block comes back again. Stay tuned for new posts coming soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Closed to New Clients

Hi Scribblers!

Due to overwhelming demand, I am not accepting new clients at this time. My focus will be solely on my current clients and their editorial needs as well as my own writing projects.

Thank you to all of my clients for keeping me so busy!

Happy writing!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!


I am pleased to continue my December special into the new year, with a Developmental Edit for $2 per page. 2017 was a fantastic year, and the talent I got the opportunity to work with was incredible! As a writer myself, I know the struggle is real, so I wanted to celebrate 2018 and keep this amazing discount available. 

At $2 per page, you are getting the chance to have a quality Developmental Edit for an even better rate than my referred clients typically receive. And if you consider the standard rates for this kind of editing at $7-$10 per page (or $25+ per hour), you’re getting a STEAL!!

If you are interested, email me (scribblerservices@gmail.com) or message me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. My calendar has limited availability, so act soon to take advantage of these amazing rates. 


Email: scribblerservices@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scribblerservices
Instagram: @scribblerservices
Twitter: @ScribblerSvcs

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December Special


Tis the season to be jolly!

During the holidays, many agents close submissions so that they can catch up on year-end business obligations and focus on more important things like family. This is a great opportunity to fine-tune your manuscript before they re-open submissions, and ensure you are submitting your best work.

For December, I am offering my best discount yet! Typically, my referral rates for Developmental Edits are $5 per page and my standard (non-referral) rates for Developmental Edits are $7 per page. For this month and in the spirit of joyful giving, however, I am offering my Developmental Edit at $2 per page on any fiction or nonfiction manuscript with 100 pages or more!

It's a great deal and my schedule is filling up fast! Contact me if you're interested, and if not - I'll see you in 2018!

Email: scribblerservices@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scribblerservices
Instagram: @scribblerservices
Twitter: @ScribblerSvcs

Friday, December 1, 2017

Scribbler Services Editing Options

There are three types of editing offered at Scribbler Services. There are different costs for each, and discounts when bundled together. The three options are copy editing, line editing, and developmental editing. 

So, what's the difference? Below you will find a brief description of each option I provide, which will enable you to choose which is right for your needs. 

Copy Editing: The copy editing option I offer is the review of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts and correcting any grammatical issues I encounter. The corrections are made within the document, notated as a comment, and then the document is returned via email for the writer's review. The goal is to ensure the project is free of punctuation errors, typos, omitted words, and other grammar-related problems. However, a copy edit is not proofreading or revising the content of the manuscript; and it is important the writer proofreads each step of the way.

Line Editing: The line editing option I offer addresses the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level. The focus is not on the grammar, but rather how the story is translating to the reader word-by-word. Any grammar issues which are repeated errors will be notated for the writer as a pattern to be corrected.

Developmental Editing: The developmental editing option I offer is the most in-depth option for writers who are struggling to get readers to connect with their story. I read the manuscript multiple times, and then provide a meticulous critique with feedback on character development, plot structure, what is working, what isn't working, and creative suggestions to fix what isn't working. 

I offer all three services at incredibly reduced rates. I could charge more - I am worth it, but I understand how important a professional edit is. It can be the difference between a request for more and a rejection when seeking representation. As an assistant to a literary agent, I too often have seen manuscripts come in which may have made it farther in the publication process if only the author had had the work professionally edited.

I am also a writer with a limited budget, so being cost-effective just makes sense to me. I didn't become an editor because I wanted to make money off of other peoples' struggles. I became an editor because I'm obsessed with books, I love the written word, and I want to help other people make their literary dreams come true - even if it's just by correcting grammar errors. 

2017 has been a productive year for Scribbler Services, and I am excited to continue my work in 2018. I've gotten to work with multiple clients who are at different points in their publishing journey - some are just starting out, some have an agent but aren't connecting with a publisher, and two are published - and it has been an absolute joy to do so. I will continue to offer discounts and specials, so please do not hesitate to contact me about my rates!

Email: scribblerservices@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scribblerservices
Instagram: @scribblerservices
Twitter: @scribblerservices

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo Special!


As a writer, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a great opportunity to finish a work in progress (WIP) or start a new manuscript. I have "won" NaNoWriMo five years in a row - since 2012 - and will be participating in the novel writing fun again this year as well. 

So, what is NaNoWriMo? It's an opportunity to prove you can write 50,000 words of a novel in November's 30 days. It doesn't have to be a final draft, but for many authors NaNoWriMo is the kick in the pants they need to get going on a project. NaNoWriMo is also an incredible organization, which supports literacy and young writers as well. 

As a Developmental Editor, I am offering a great special for all of you NaNoWriMo writers out there: $2.50 per page for a Fiction/Non-Fiction Developmental Edit. My standard rate is $5 per page, so you're saving 50% off my already-discounted prices! (The recommended price-per-page for a Developmental Edit is $7+). 

If you aren't connecting with an agent or you're having trouble figuring out what the "story" is in your manuscript, a Developmental Edit can help. Sometimes, a professional edit gives you the right key to open the door in the publishing industry. I love what I do, I do it well, and I have three spots open in my editing calendar for this month. 

But why me, right? Well, I am an assistant for a west coast literary agent, who I have been working with for almost two years. I started as an intern, and have moved up to a new rung on the publishing industry ladder. I have worked with several authors, both published and unpublished; and I have been mentored by several published authors as well. I am a writer, too, so I understand the journey you're traveling. I only want to make it easier to get to your next stop. 

I have studied English, Latin, and Theater. I have a passion for words and grammar. I do offer Copyediting services, but this is separate from a Developmental Edit. If you decide to hire me to edit your work, here is what you will get: 
  1. A thorough reading of your project. I read your work several times. 
  2. A meticulous critique. I review your character development, setting, timeline, plot, and identify all areas which work or don't work for your story. 
  3. Suggestions. I provide suggestions for any problems I identify or foresee with your work. What's the point of a critique if I don't give you a light to find your way?
  4. Fast turn-around. I do all of this in 3-4 weeks, or an agreed upon deadline. I want to get this back to you and help you get to work. I understand writers have to strike while the iron is hot, and I want to help you get your work out in the world. 
  5. A follow-up reading. Most editors will look at your work and critique it, but usually any additional read-through will cost more money beyond the initial payment. All of my Developmental Edits include a follow-reading once you have made your revisions. This way, I ensure I didn't miss any additional opportunities to help. 
  6. A second review. That's right - two for the price of one! When I receive your revision, I will then repeat steps 1-4 one last time. This way, I am able to give you as many tools to help you along your way. After two readings, a fresh perspective is needed.

So, it's a good deal, right? Right! I'll be running the special all month, so if you are interested, feel free to contact me via email or Facebook messenger. Also, please follow my NaNoWriMo journey.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Style of Authenticity

I've encountered a lot of different problems writers face on their publishing journey as a writer, freelance editor, literary agent's intern, and now as a literary agent's assistant. One of these issues, which I find more toxic than bad grammar (because bad grammar is easily fixed with a great copy edit), often happens when an author of an unpublished, unrepresented manuscript compares him/herself to a published, successful, New York Times best-selling author.

Typically, the comparison occurs within one of the two following scenarios: 

1) "I write my characters in a way reminiscent of Stephen King's IT, who are facing plot twists like those found in a Paula Hawkins novel." 

2) "How is it that (insert any published, top-selling author's name here) has an agent and I don't?" 

The first scenario is problematic because it shows the writer doesn't understand the market of the novel he/she has written. Stephen King's IT is Horror with a supernatural bent while Paula Hawkins writes Psychological Thrillers. Other than being popular at the moment, these two books would not normally be found in the same section of the library or average book store.

Of course, it is important to know your genre, market, and where your novel would sit on the shelf, but it's more important to be true to yourself. Comparing your work to what's popular is a big risk that rarely pays off. If you write a Psychological Thriller, know the hallmarks and authors of that genre so you can give an accurate comparison if you must compare yourself at all. I also suggest using the phrase "influenced by" as opposed to making direct comparisons because you are unique, and so is your writing.

The second scenario is something I have heard a lot from frustrated authors, and I admit have said myself in moments of weakness. It's easy to chalk up someone else's success to who they know or luck, but the truth is successful authors have to deal with rejections and disappointments too. But they keep writing, revising, and pushing forward until they can break through to the other side. If writing a best-seller was easy, every writer on the planet would be a published success.

Besides, reading any bestseller and wondering how you don't have an agent or a million dollar contract is not a good use of your time. Reading is always something an author should be doing as much as possible, but wondering how another author is successful and you are not is not going to help you. And sometimes it can be like comparing your first book to another author's twentieth. 

An established author has figured out who he/she is by this point, which you may still be doing; he/she has a strong fan base, which you may not; and he/she is farther along on the publishing pathway than most everyone else. No one else is going to have the exact same experience as you, and you are not going to have the exact same experience as anyone else. Making this type of comparison will only frustrate you and steal the joy you hopefully get from writing in the first place. 

In closing, here is something important to keep in mind: most novels being published right this minute were selected by an agent for representation 1-2 years ago. ONE-to-TWO YEARS. Let that sink in. And let's not even talk about how long ago the novel being published today was written.

So, be patient, keep writing, and focus on being who YOU are as a writer - not anybody else.

Email: scribblerservices@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scribblerservices
Instagram: @ScribblerServices
Twitter: @ScribblerSvcs

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Time for a Tune-Up?

Another one of my passions is music. I've been playing the piano for over thirty years - wowsers! - and the one thing that makes the music sound best besides practice is a well-tuned instrument. When a piano is out of tune, even familiar songs lose their appeal. A great book is much the same way when there are developmental problems. You might be the next big thing, but poorly tuned writing will make it hard for you to get your big break.

Like a piano tuner, a developmental editor goes through every note of your manuscript and fine tunes it. Maybe there is a secondary character that is more like a two-dimensional distraction instead of the charismatic confidant you'd intended. Maybe there is a subplot you've delved into that leads the reader down a rabbit hole from which he or she may not return. Or maybe you have written your magnum opus, submitted it and keep getting form rejection letters but have no idea why.

A developmental editor can find the discrepancies in your words and help you deliver the music the way you want with the impact you need. If you find your manuscript isn't resonating with agents, please consider having your project professionally edited.

As a writer myself, I have learned the importance of having my work reviewed by a professional editor who is not a friend, family member or fan. I also know the value of a dollar, and how hard struggling writers work at their day jobs waiting for their publishing dreams to come true. For the past 1.5 years, I have been working as an intern for a successful west coast literary agent, and I have learned a lot about the publishing industry and writing books as a whole. I'm also an avid reader of all genres, and becoming a literary agent myself is a goal of mine. However, I'm taking my time to learn all that I can from some amazing women in this business, so this is a goal for a year or two down the road.

What I can offer now is my keen eye for detail and a meticulous review of your work. I am efficient with my initial review and I also offer a follow-up after the first revision, which is atypical.

I provide my services at an affordable rate (between $5-$7 per page depending on your referral status), which is half of what most developmental editors charge. I'm a human, a writer, and I understand. Life is expensive, and the costs of being creative can be a deterrent no matter how much you might need certain tools to make your creation better.

My goal is to help make your project the best it can be; therefore, I aim to be cost-effective, efficient, and a guiding light to help you get your polished manuscript out into the world. If you're interested in my fine-tuning skills or learning more about how I may be able to help you improve your novel, please feel free to email me or message me on Facebook.

Email: scribblerservices@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scribblerservices
Instagram: @ScribblerServices
Twitter: @ScribblerSvcs

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September Special

Attention Writers!

Have you received more rejections than partial or full requests on your completed manuscript? Well, you've done the hard part - written the book - but there may be something agents just aren't connecting with, which is where a developmental edit comes in.

There could be discrepancies in your world building or characterization. You may have a brilliant concept that needs more fleshing out or clarity. You could have too much exposition and not enough action. All of these issues can be identified and suggestions provided to resolve them with a developmental edit.

Normally, developmental edits run $10 or more per page, but my rates are much more affordable. Currently, I charge $5 per page for clients referred to me by a current client or a literary agent. I charge $7 per page for non-referrals. However, for September, I am offering a DEEP DISCOUNT on my already-discounted prices! So, if you're in the market for a developmental edit but have found the costs too high, now is the time to contact me.

I provide meticulous and comprehensive feedback with suggestions on how to fix any confusing or problem areas. I do so with a quick turn-around time frame, usually 2-3 weeks, so that you can revise and get your manuscript back out on the market.

I have worked with a literary agent as an intern for the past 1.5 years and now I am working as an assistant. I have written novels as well, so I fully understand the publication process from start to finish. I have also studied English, Latin, and Theater, which have given me a great number of tools to identify plot and characterization concerns.

If you're interested in working with me, please email me at scribblerservices@gmail.com to find out about my DEEP DISCOUNT for my September Special!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Saturday Series: Lessons in Grammar


At the end of July, I started a Saturday Series called "Lessons in Grammar". I have found as a Developmental Editor grammar tends to be a struggle for many writers.

Every Saturday since, I have posted a "post card" grammar lesson, which you can find on my Facebook page and Instagram feed. Each "lesson" is a common mistake I have seen or have made myself. From easily confused words like their/they're/there to information about the order of adjectives, there are fun, easy tips for everyone.