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!

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!

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.

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.

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 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.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Common Editorial Tips

Writers often ask what are the most common tips an editor can provide to improve writing? I've asked this question myself, and there are several resources to consider; Stephen King's On Writing and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott are two of my favorites. I have also been fortunate enough to work with a successful literary agent as an intern over the past 1.5 years, who has imparted much wisdom to me on this topic.

Below are three important tips you may find helpful as you revise your magnum opus:

Showing Versus Telling: I have been guilty of "telling" my audience so much, especially when I first started writing. And sometimes "telling" is important as it can be a way to provide our readers with valuable information. However, "showing" our readers a situation evokes feeling and imagination, which is going to enrich your story and engage your reader so much more than "telling" ever could. Use strong descriptors to paint the scene and what the character sees and feels.

Reduce Your Use of Adverbs: Cross out the word "very" every time you use it. Adverbs are helpful, but they also give off a sense of laziness. Is your character "very angry" or "spitting nails she's so mad"?

Pacing: How fast or slow your plot moves can be the death of a great story. Pacing is so important, but what is the best way to keep the pace when writing? The best advice I've ever received on pacing is this: make sure at least three things are happening in every chapter to drive your story forward. Use the characters, the setting, and plot points to engage the reader and keep his/her interest.

For more tips, follow this blog or reach out to me personally on Facebook or via email at If you are having trouble getting representation for your project, a developmental edit may be what you need. Contact me - I'd love to help!

Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram @scribblerservices

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What I Offer

First, and foremost, I am an authors' editor. As an authors' editor, I work for the author, not any publishing houses or literary agents. I work with new, unpublished, and established authors to identify concerns and provide creative solutions to resolve those concerns.

Have you written a novel but aren't getting much traction when you query agents? Are you getting requests for partials or fulls but then getting rejections? A developmental edit may be what you need. 

Developmental editing does not address grammatical errors or other copy editing concerns. It addresses the story and what is moving the story forward or keeping it stagnant. There may be characters who need more development or are not necessary. There may be an undercurrent in the manuscript which is not fully fleshed out. There may historical or cultural references which may need clarity, especially in a climate where diversity and accuracy is so important. A developmental edit can identify these issues and more and offer suggestions on how to fix them. Developmental editing gets to the root of your story and makes sure it's growing in the way the author wants.  

I offer the following with a developmental edit: 
  1. A meticulous, comprehensive edit of your manuscript with multiple readings to ensure full understanding of the story at its core.
  2. Detailed feedback regarding plot, character, pace, tone, and engagement - what works and what doesn't. 
  3. Suggestions on how to improve what is not working as well as guidance on topics which may be historically inaccurate or culturally insensitive.
So, why should you hire me? I am highly organized, efficient, and college-educated. I have studied English, Theatre (specifically Playwriting), and Classical Languages. I have written three novels, which have yet to be published, and I am a published poet and playwright. I have been an intern and assistant for a successful west coast literary agent, who has taught me so much about the publishing industry, the publication process, and editing for publication. I also have been mentored by a successfully published Young Adult author and an editor with an imprint at Penguin Random House, both of whom provided excellent guidance and invaluable advice along my journey.

I provide feedback typically within 4-6 weeks from the receipt of payment. I do require payment upfront, but my rates are well-priced as I understand developmental editing is an extra - though often necessary - expense authors must incur. 

The standard pricing for developmental edits is $10+ per page, which can mean thousands of dollars out of pocket. However, I offer significant discounts due to my own experience as a writer working on a budget. I also frequently offer promotions, which provide additional opportunities for savings as well. 

Below is my current price list:
  • Non-Referral: $7 per page on first project with a discount on future projects.
  • Referral: $5 per page on first project with a discount on future projects. 
Please email me at for more information about availability and other author services I provide. Also, visit my Facebook page to keep an eye out on specials coming soon. Please like the page if you like what you see!

Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram @scribblerservices

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Terms and Conditions of Service

When I take on a new client, I typically explain what services I am going to offer in an email. However, I think it is important to also share my Terms and Conditions of Service for anyone interested in hiring me to edit their project. 

The Terms and Conditions of Service are standard to most freelance editing contracts and fair to both parties involved. Please take a moment to read this important information and reach out to me with any questions or clarification you may need. 

At the end of the day, it is my hope to help you, the Author, write the best novel you can so you can achieve your publishing dreams. I want to see you succeed and I want your story told. I hope you will consider working with me; I thank you for reviewing my terms and conditions of services; and I look forward to whatever challenges may lie ahead.

Terms and Conditions of Service

1. Services Offered. The Editor agrees to provide a substantive Developmental Edit to the Author within the agreed upon time (typically 4-6 weeks from the date of payment received. The Developmental Edit will examine troublesome writing habits on a large scale which permit fatal errors in structure. This includes examining the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript relevant to engaging the target audience, character development, and the construction of the plot and story arc. A Line Edit or Copy Edit may be offered additionally but will be negotiated separately from the Developmental Edit. 

2. Author Responsibility. The author will promptly review the completed deliverable and notify the Editor within 5 business days of any issues. The Editor will then make any necessary corrections at no additional cost to the Author. If the Author does not notify the Editor of any issues within this period, the deliverable is considered accepted and the work complete. 

3. Cancellation of Services. All sales and payments are final after 7 calendar days for services rendered. Should the Author decide to cancel payment, he or she must do so before the seventh calendar day in order to receive a full refund. Once the project is in process, either party may terminate the Agreement in the even of material change of circumstance within the first 7 calendar days. Notice must be sent in writing to the other party at the email address provided. If the Editor terminates the Agreement, the Author will pay the Editor for the work done up to the date of termination, and the Editor will refund over-payment. If the Author terminates the Agreement, the Author will pay the Editor for the work completed up to the date of termination, but this amount will not be less than 50% of the estimated total for the project. 

4. Payments. Prepayment is required via PayPal or Walmart-to-Walmart transfer. However, if payment arrangements are provided, the Editor retains ownership of all work performed, including all relevant intellectual property rights, until the Editor receives full payment from the Author. Use of the work before that time by the Author represents a violation of this Agreement unless said use is agreed to in writing by the Editor.

5. Refunds. All refund requests must be submitted in writing and will be processed within 6-8 weeks via PayPal or Walmart-to-Walmart transfer. Full refunds will only be processed in the event of the following two scenarios on a case-by-case basis: 

  • The Agreement is terminated in writing within the first 7 calendar days.
  • The Author has secured promotional pricing with advance payment but services have not yet been rendered. 
6. Privacy. The Editor agrees not to reproduce, give, or show to anyone any material sent to her by the Author for editing purposes, unless consulting services from a third party are agreed to by the Author in advance. 

7. Guarantees. No guarantees are made as to the salability or marketability of the edited manuscript. Nor is there a guarantee that the manuscript will be completely error-free, though all efforts will be made to make it so. No guarantees are made as to whether the edited manuscript will secure literary agent representation, although all efforts will be made by the Editor to improve the manuscript provided by the Author. Unless a co-writing/co-authorship arrangement is agreed upon in writing prior to publication, all royalties and monies gained by the sale of the book will be the sole property of the Author.

8. Indemnity. The Editor will provide only those services specified in the initial offer letter or email. Because the Author and its representatives are the experts in the subject matter, and the Editor is not, the Author assumes full responsibility for verifying the validity of the work submitted by the Editor. The Author shall thus hold the Editor blameless for any unanticipated consequences of accepting the Editor's work, and agrees to indemnify and save harmless the Editor from any and all claims or demands, without limitation, arising out of any alleged libel or copyright infringement or other problem committed by the Author in creating the work. The Editor shall make every effort to bring questionable information to the attention of the Author, but shall not be held responsible for any failure to identify such information. 

©2017-2020 by Tara Goodyear. All Rights Reserved.

Hello World!

Please allow me to introduce myself: my name is Tara. I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, poet, playwright, and a developmental editor. I am also an assistant to a Literary Agent on the west coast, who I was previously an intern for over the past 1.5 years. I have learned so much, and I look forward to sharing it here. I am also working toward becoming a Literary Agent myself, so hopefully you will share in that grand adventure as well.

I have written three novels of my own - all Young Adult Fiction - and am currently working on my fourth, which is a Thriller (my first adult fiction novel - yay!). Like some of the authors I have worked with, I am working toward publication as well. I have a lot of experience with querying agents, giving and receiving feedback, and dealing with what I feel is the only downside of being a creative type - rejection. 

I studied English, Theater and Classical Languages (Latin) at the College of Charleston, and I also took a multitude of classes in poetry writing, playwriting, business communications, and writing fiction. I have worked as a proofreader and copy editor for five years, and I have also worked as a skilled content writer for several private clients and companies. I love words, I love to read, and most of all I love helping others with their creative endeavors.

I offer developmental editing services with comprehensive and meticulous feedback as well as creative suggestions to work through any stumbling blocks or problem areas in your manuscript. I offer affordable rates, including discounts for multi-book edits and referrals. Most of all, I value your time and provide my services with a short turn-around time. 

So, if you're receiving more rejection emails and letters than partial or full requests but you're not sure where to go from here, email me at and let's see if I can help. 

Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram @scribblerservices