Personal, Professional Editing

A better manuscript — a better writer

My aim in all the editing I do is to give you a stronger manuscript and make you a better writer. I’ve always seen editing as a way to help writers learn their craft, and I love watching a client catch on and start writing at a deeper level. That’s why I co-authored Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. It’s why I founded my own editing business in 1994. And why I’ve proudly framed my website with a shelf of my clients’ books.

Dave King

The personal touch

Editing companies are getting bigger and bigger, which can make it hard to know just who is working on your manuscript. I've even come across cases where the editor with the best credentials has an underpaid employee read the manuscript and provide details that let him pretend to have read it himself. All this confirms the decision I made years ago to be the only editor in my business. This gives me the flexibility to adjust to the needs of each client. I can structure the editing process to fit your budget and schedule. We can communicate by phone, email, or text -- whatever works best for you.

Above all, I can tailor my editing to your needs as a writer. The process always starts with the diagnostic reading report. Before I can start to edit, I need to immerse myself in your story, and we need to agree on where you’d like to see your manuscript go. Many clients write a new draft on the strength of the report alone. After the report, the editing could include an extensive memo, a coaching line-edit, a phone consultation, whatever fits your learning style. Most clients do eventually opt for the coaching line-edit, since it's such a powerful teaching tool.

After editing

When your manuscript is as strong as you and I can make it, I can help develop the tools you need to convince an agent — a query letter and synopsis. And I won’t forget you when the work is done. I like to stay in touch, following your progress and offering suggestions and encouragement if you need them.

Writing advice for everyone

You don't have to be a client to come here whenever you want and learn more about writing. I update the Marginal Notes blog to the right of the page every month. The blog's topical index now contains six years' worth of entries that are informative, inspirational, or just plain fun. Look through them and enjoy. If you find one that would interest a writing friend, just share the link.

Good Writing,

Dave King

Thanks to you and your editing help, I feel now (as I once felt on the ramp at Birkenau) that I crossed over a barrier . . . You helped to give literary grace to my writing which lifted this subject to the level it deserves. For that I remain forever grateful.
— Joseph Horn