Of course, we all have!
And one of the things that make the movie so personal for so many people is that Rocky Balboa is the everyman making good, chasing his dreams. And while the other movies later on turn him into something akin to a Captain America taking on all of Russia and Mr. T, in this first movie he was like us… except with a lot more muscle.
So why am I bringing this up? Do you remember his coach Mickey? He was played by the tough Burgess Meredith, and the character was honest, always pushing him forward. He in many ways symbolizes the kind of coach we wish we all had in our corner. Yeah, he could be gruff but he believed in Rocky and supported his dream. Rocky would never have gotten as far as he did if it wasn’t for Mickey.
Okay, this may sound like I am rambling… but there is a point.
Writers and my fellow daydreamers of future New York Times Bestseller Lists, I can now be your Mickey!
Ever since I started this blog and began to write my many articles around the art of writing and my experience living and breathing in our literary artform, I have had authors ask about my editing services.
The fact is I have worked professionally as an editor for over 10 years; first for a college program, and currently as a senior editor for a research and evaluation firm. In the world of fiction, I have worked with fellow authors both experienced and newbie. I have also spoken at colleges, run writing tables, and have even taught courses on writing. I received my MFA in writing from the University of Southern California and also studied literature at the graduate level at Michigan State University. And I am the book reviewer for my local NPR station, WKAR, and appear every other week on their show Current State (You can hear and read my reviews on this page). Suffice to say, writing is my passion and editing is one of the skills I have acquired and fine-tuned over those many years.
Earlier this year, I worked with fellow editor Rebecca T. Dickson (editor and founder of Write Raw and author of the book The Definitive Guide to Writing on Your Terms) on my novel Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare. It was a lot of fun and we share a lot in common in our editing philosophy.
See, while correcting grammar is fine, the number one goal of a fiction editor should be to help the author make a better book. Creating in the end, a novel that truly inspires, captivates, and moves a reader.
A good editor challenges a writer, makes him/her consider their choices, and also praises them when they have made a good decision in their work. Let me give you an example from my experience working with Becky. Originally my book was structured with long chapters, each with wide-sweeping arcs to them. It was all very grandiose! Becky called me on it, saying how difficult it was for the reader and helped me restructure the book, changing my seven chapters to twenty-one chapters.
And, I’ll be very honest with you, if you go to a professional editing service, especially those around self-publishing companies, you won’t get a hands-on approach like this. They claim to do it, but they don’t. They won’t have the guts to make you return to an earlier point in the book’s creation. They won’t even consider pointing out major flaws in character development, dialogue, story structure, plot. No, their main goal is to get the book published and out the door. Get you to sign the check! If you truly, TRULY, want an editor that helps you create a better book, you need to have someone committed to the work as much as you are.
Did I mention Coach Mickey?
So here is the big news!
I have recently agreed to work with Rebecca T. Dickson and will be taking on the occasional editing assignment. Which means if you enjoy my writing posts or my novels, and you wish to have me work on your book; all you need to do is contact Rebecca (beckster7219 (at) gmail (dot) com) and ask to work with me. She will arrange everything after that.
The fees are based on individual manuscripts (contact Rebecca to learn more). They are generally:
- $600+ up to 60,000 words
- $800+ up to 80,000 words
- $1000+ for 80,000-100,000 words
And as I have described, if you hire me on you get more than just the grammar review. As Rebecca promises on her site I will be looking at structure, plot, voice, consistency, dialogue, character development, grammar, etc.
Editing is completed chapter by chapter, and I will get back to you with the completion of each one, so not only do you get the overall impression of a “reader” but you also get that personal reaction from chapter to chapter!
You can also ask questions back to me (and I am willing to share my advice about working with agents and publishers, adaptations, blogging, Twitter, etc.). It is a conversation during this process and until I complete the manuscript I am… well… your Coach Mickey.
If you would be interested in learning more about Rebecca T. Dickson’s services, check out her writing services like Write Raw, you can visit her site here.
And if you would like to inquire about my availability to edit your book, you just need to shoot her an e-mail at this address- beckster7219 (at) gmail (dot) com.
I hope to be in your corner soon!