Book Editing: Fiction

Our fiction editors are PhDs & published authors.

A big thank you goes to the staff a Edit911. Your response was fast, and you helped me make my dream come true. Your novel editing was efficient and professional. Thanks to you my book Carrie’s Farm is published!  My book was edited over a period of time and you came through for me. Thank you so very much! At 70 years old and my first book, I am very proud and have a 2nd book in the making.

Bette Jennings
Twin Falls, Idaho

About our fiction editing service:

Our fiction book editing focuses on maximizing the potency of your novel’s storytelling elements. We’ll evaluate and enhance your story’s literary aspects: its plot, characterization, narrative voice, pace, and thematic resonance. Since our fiction book editors are all PhDs, they have all written—and many have published—their dissertations, which are highly structured, rigorously developed, thoroughly supported, and flawlessly proofed texts.

Your fiction editor will be one of our PhDs who writes and publishes novels, while teaching creative writing, literature, and/or composition in college. The quality of a novel editor doesn’t get any better than that. They are highly-skilled, consummate artists who will work diligently to

  • sharpen your characters;
  • identify possible plot holes;
  • surgically remove redundancies, inconsistencies, wordiness, and other assorted prose diseases;
  • detect faulty diction, dialogue and pace;
  • note any other flaws that may be obstructing your novel from attaining its maximum literary quality.

For no additional charge, when our fiction editing service performs our  novel editing and proofreading, we also will evaluate your novel’s content. No other book editing service will do this for free. After we’re done with our book editing process, we will make evaluative comments in the margins. In addition, we will include the following checklist as a separate file, completely filled out with professional, doctorate level commentary by your book editors.

  • What can be done to improve your work’s marketability?
  • Is the plot original and compelling?
  • Does it have any major organization or structural problems?
  • Have you missed any key ingredients or not sufficiently developed any scenes or topics?
  • Are the characters original and fully developed?
  • Is the dialogue genuine and fresh?
  • Is there too much interior monologue or description and exposition, with too little action and/or dialogue?
  • Are there any clichés or stereotypes that weaken your writing?
  • Is there enough believability, suspense, action, conflict, and tension?
  • Is your book too short or too long, and, if so, why?  Should it be part of a series?
  • Is there anything else at all that you, as the author, can do to improve it.

Here’s what our own Dr. Robert says about his “novel book editing from the inside out” method:

Having helped to usher roughly a dozen novels into print over the last two years as one of Edit911.com, Inc.’s consultant staffers, I have been asked to delineate how our services go beyond those that you might find touted elsewhere online. Frankly, this is a no-brainer. Most of our competitors, if you read between the lines of their advertised competencies, are essentially what I would call “clean-up crews”–that is to say, hygienically-minded proofreaders. If you aspire to a more rigorous and professional treatment of your full-length manuscript, go with Edit911.com, Inc.

Over the years this company has notched an enviable record in securing authors’ contracts for publication, many of whom were first-time petitioners for acceptance of their work. Given my experience in this venture, I will summarize below the process I go through while performing novel editing. That outline, in turn, may suggest some points for fiction writers to keep in mind as they prepare drafts of their manuscripts.

• The first thing I try to detect and, in my role as a fiction editor, respect is the text’s latent voice. This involves more than the technicality of identifying narrational point of view. It also is not easy to describe. What I initially try to do is to hear the author’s cadences as they percolate through characters’ dialogical speech patterns, which of course should be distinctive to each. Through them I cock an ear for the echo, register, or stylistic tonality of a writer’s ventriloquism, the kind of nuanced effect found, for example, in John le Carré’s latest production titled Our Kind of Traitor (2010). Attunement to this idiom guides me in proposing editorial changes.

• I next concern myself with the credibility of those characters. Do they speak in a manner consistent with their individual depiction and the text’s setting? “Spiffy,” for example, is an inapt description of male attire in 1920s New Hampshire. I also pay close attention to how characters are originally introduced, since such profiling will have a significant bearing on their subsequent roles. Are they plausible, again as gauged in terms of the work’s fictional context, and are their actions congruent with both the story’s events and human psychology? Persuade us that your invented personae are real and that we should care about what happens to them.

• Then comes the matter of plot. While verifying that developments jive with previously indicated circumstances, I check for minor lapses. Sometimes this can be a minefield. As in a 5,000-piece puzzle, one wrong detail can derail the entire project. Consultant editors should be fanatically adept at questioning these occasional miscues. Thus, if you do not find that your manuscript comes back to you with at least some marginal queries about plot consistency, something is wrong. Even Homer nodded. We all need another pair of eyes to tell us how we’re doing.

• What I look for, finally, in a fictional manuscript is an answer to the question, “So what?” By the narrative’s climax and resolution there should be some indication, however obliquely framed, of its conceptual import. This is another way of saying that the text ought to limn by its end what has been at stake throughout the entire plot. Formulaic or pat closures, of course, should be avoided. The dénouement instead must arise credibly from earlier plot complications and project some larger insight into what has informed them all along. The pay-off for the reader, in other words, should be worth his or her investment of time and attention.

These major points encompass what I look for while editing a novel. My approach is to work from the inside out, letting a fictional manuscript’s flow guide me in monitoring its unfolding design. I would like to think that most editors adhere to this method, or something like it, but in my experience many come at the task from the outside in. Seek professional assistance, then, from those who are sensitive to your work’s organic shape. That doesn’t mean they’ll be uncritical; it does mean, however, that their suggestions will mesh with your text’s objectives. The consultants affiliated with Edit911.com, Inc. are, hands down, your best resource in this regard.

Read Dr. Julia’s white paper on Editing a Novel.

Put Dr. Robert, Dr. Julia,  or one of our other extraordinary book editors to work on your novel. Submit your project now!