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Tere Michaels Editing Philosophy

Hiring an editor isn’t as simple as clicking a box. One size absolutely does not fit all. A good editor has their special skills, their philosophy, and their way of working, and hopefully, a connection to the client and their work. Some editors are fantastic at grammar and punctuation, smoothing sentences and paragraphs into perfection. Some editors know their pacing and can spot things we can’t. Some editors know characters like they are sitting across from them in a therapy session! Authors should always find the best fit for their needs. Will a tough editor with a red pen be ideal for your personality or would it make you duck into your shell like a frightened turtle? Do you need a more gentle and conversational approach? Do you need accountability?

So what is my editing philosphy?

I approach everything I do – Developmental Editing, Plot Whispering, and coaching – from characterization. When you know your characters, their arcs, and their journey, you can work out the right plot, pace, and ending for your book. You can blast past blocks, finish that WIP bugging you, and decide what might not work for you at all.

Developmental Editing, to me, is a learning exercise. Part of it, of course, is improving your manuscript. At the same time, it’s about identifying gaps in your craft knowledge, or blocks you might have regarding a trope, character, or plot (yes, we have hidden triggers of our own that can show up to slow your progress!). It’s about discovering our ways around writing something we don’t want to! (The literary equivalent of doing the dishes instead of writing…)

I don’t want to tell you what the “right” edit is – I want to work with you to figure out what works best for you and your book.

First off, my developmental edits begin with a quick check-in (either via Zoom or email). I want to know what your goals are for the book, what you were aiming for. Then I read as “me.” Basically an avid reader with a developmental editor brain! I make notes of what took me out of the story or what confused me. I see if there are any recurring issues that prevent me from sinking into the story. I keep an eye on your goals for the story and if they are met.

Next up is my Global Notes Letter. I do a summary of what’s working and what’s not. I give you some thoughts on what I think we should discuss.

Finally, we schedule a 1-2 hour call via Zoom to go over my notes. Our goal is to examine why something isn’t working and how we can find a way to turn that around. We concentrate on craft and your own personal strengths, keeping your authorial voice in place.

After that discussion, we’ll come up with a plan to get the edits done. (We call it Gentle Accountability.) I am always around for questions and cheerleading!

At the end of the day, I am passionate about telling great stories. I am passionate about YOU telling your stories in your voice. Heck, I’m passionate about you figuring out what your voice is! My focus is on your being satisfied by writing your best possible book. I have no desire to mold you – I think we need more original authors who let their freak flag fly.

As an aside, as a writer with ADHD, I understand having to make things happen with challenges popping up, beyond the usual “writing is hard.” I also understand not having a writing support system around you – and I hope to be that if you need it! Need a pep talk? Need a push? Need a deadline? Everything I do is personalized to work for YOU. I want you to be able to some day tell me, “thanks, I got this now,” and believe me, I will feel proud and happy. (And also push your books on my social media.)

So, I don’t know anything about copy editing but if you’re seeking a person passionate about your authorial voice, your characters, your goals for your best book ever, and you getting to “The End,” then I just might be the editor for you!

Drop me a line, we’ll talk, and see if we’re a good match. Questions welcome!