Category: Blog


Ywriter for developmental editing

Ywriter for developmental editing

After sharing my page yesterday on my working process I had a few inquiries from fellow editors about the software I use to dissect developmental edit a novel. The software in question is yWriter. It was written by Simon Haynes (Spacejock) who, in addition to designing software, is also an author.  Designed as a tool to help writers, I have found it a useful device for note taking during the developmental stage of editing. I have little awareness of how other editors work, but to quickly summarise how I work, I always read the manuscript in its entirety before doing any detailed analysis of story, technique or […]

Posted 12 March, 2017 by Michelle in Blog / 1 Comment

Goodbye, 2016… Hello, 2017…

Goodbye, 2016… Hello, 2017…

2016 had been a good year for my editing business and personal writing, on top of which I’ve joined a wad of new groups and made even more writing and editing friends, some of whom I’ve helped launch editing businesses, or given short writing critiques. So, my year in review… 2016 was just crazy. All in all, I have edited or beta read, thirty-five stories/novels, of which, twenty-two have been (self) published, two are awaiting a publisher or agent, three are scheduled for (self) publishing in the first quarter of the year, and a handful are in the process of going through author edits. So […]

Posted 31 December, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 1 Comment

What to look for when assessing a freelance editor

What to look for when assessing a freelance editor

I am not a published author myself – something I intend to rectify in the future – so the information in this post is based on things I’ve heard authors say about their experiences with freelance editors, my opinions after viewing their websites and posts, plus research I carried out when considering whether to become an editor (paying particular attention to the criticisms in the hope I might avoid some of the pitfalls). Just because a freelance editor ‘says‘ they are qualified in copy/line/developmental does not make it so. Once upon a time, I thought I could copy edit – until a client pointed out […]

Posted 26 October, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 1 Comment

EFA: Book Mapping for Developmental Editing

Often, when I get a complex manuscript in (or one I’m struggling to get my head around) I take a giant step back and break it down into scenes, looking at the smaller parts of the puzzle, as opposed to the whole picture. So imagine my delight when I discovered it was an actual technique of developmental editing, and that it had a name  – Book (or manuscript) mapping – and that the EFA (Editorial Freelancers Association) was running a course on it. I couldn’t sign up quick enough. Although I already do an element of book mapping, I’m always keen to listen to those […]

Posted 11 October, 2016 by Michelle in Blog, Book-Mapping, EFA / 0 Comments

So a thing happened… (Dragon Con 2016)

So a thing happened… (Dragon Con 2016)

A while back one of my clients contacted me to say that his second book – Grave Measures – had been nominated for Dragon Con. I congratulated him, of course, lots of ‘well done’ and ‘that’s fab’ and then carried on editing away on whichever book I was working on at the time. Only while I was doing this, he was absolutely buzzing about this nomination. I had never heard of it. While I love science fiction, I’ve never really been into writing conventions, although I did attend the Glasgow (Braehead) Comic Con one year. Anyway, it turns out Dragon Con is very big and […]

Posted 25 August, 2016 by Michelle in Achievements, Blog / 0 Comments

How it all began…

How it all began…

A long time ago, (2013/14 to be precise), I was contacted by Hawkins Publishing Group, an independent publisher in America and asked if I would be interested in an intern position. While there, I participated in acquisitions as part of a team, reading submissions and playing ‘God’ with authors’ dreams, either approving their submission or rejecting it. During the last semester, though, I was given the opportunity to participate in editing. There were three in total and I was thrilled to learn that two of them have been published recently (with my name in the legal gumph as an associate editor). A bit of backstory (that […]

Posted 19 August, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 3 Comments

Guru Purnima

This morning I received two separate messages from two individuals I have given advice to over recent weeks. Both contacted me to explain that Guru Purnima is a day when teachers, mentors, and elders are thanked. It is a day celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists according to wikipedia. Both individuals offered their thanks for the time I have given to their respective questions. One is a young woman interested in developmental editing, another a young man wishing to improve his writing skills and eventually publish. I may work as a paid editor these days, but it isn’t always about the money – it’s about the moments when […]

Posted 19 July, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 0 Comments

Half year update

I’ve been quiet on the blogging/social network side of things of recent, mostly because I’ve been so busy, but I thought I should take a step back to wave – *waves enthusiastically* – and let you all know I’m still here. This morning, I took a look at all the books I’ve been working on this year (so far). And as of the 1st July, I have assisted with eighteen books, most of which were read twice, and two of those were absolute giants in terms of word count. A handful were beta-reads, one was what I would call a developmental edit, three were copy-edits, […]

Posted 2 July, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 0 Comments

Making things official

Yesterday I took the plunge to open a business account with my bank and had a lovely chat with the woman there in the process. She had never come across a book editor before and was fascinated. Until filling out my application, I didn’t realise quite how close I was to my one-year trading anniversary. I thought I started up after finishing my degree, but after checking my accounts (which are always bang up to date) it would appear that I raised my first invoice on 4th April, 2015. I’ve come  a long way since that first manuscript, despite having edited for free two years […]

Posted 17 March, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 0 Comments

Coursera: The Craft of Plot – passed

Coursera: The Craft of Plot – passed

Coursera’s ‘The craft of Plot’ is one of five courses in the creative writing category. I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the basics and also to try and get back into the habit of doing a little writing myself. In order to earn this certificate, I had to pass four assignment (marked by fellow students). It is a non-credit course and has no academic value, but I enjoyed revisiting the subjects of structure, plot/story and show don’t tell. You can view my posts on this course (and even see a sample of my writing) here: The Craft of Plot: Week One […]