Getting To Mr. Right (a novel): The Editing Process by Carol Balawyder
A novel is never written alone. It really takes a village. One person in my village was Thelma Mariano who did both the content and line editing of my manuscript.
Thelma also brainstormed solutions with me to fix content issues.
I particularly appreciated this. It made me feel that we were partners.
At one point Thelma wrote:
I couldn’t sleep last night (must stop working in bed, my mind kept going)…but this morning I woke up with fresh ideas! I hope you’ll agree, because this would make the scene come alive, strengthen Felicity’s character AND ties in with the plot as well…
The work was to be accomplished in three parts (approximately one-third of the content in each part). Upon receipt of the text for Part 1, 2, or 3, The Editor will review the manuscript and provide guidance to The Client on Content as indicated above. The Client will then incorporate these changes and send a revised version back to The Editor.
Working like this was very motivating for me. It provided me a concrete deadline and someone to bounce off ideas on.
Thank you Thelma for such a professional and thorough editing job and for elevating my novel.
MORE CLIENT FEEDBACK
Initial Story Critique
- Tina Davis comments on assessment of her novel-in-progress, Missing Chords (women’s fiction):
“Thelma’s Initial Critique was obviously well thought out and thorough. She had some outstanding ideas for the story progression and also did a marvelous job at helping me understand the process required to create a more cohesive storyline. I definitely look forward to working with her again.”
- E.J. Thomas, upon receiving feedback on Awake but Breathless (a romantic medical thriller), writes:
“Thank you for your time and input. I appreciate all your insights and comments. I believe you have a good grasp of the story and have made suggestions that will polish it and make it better. Your recommended Initial Story Critique was precisely what I needed.”
- Author William Schreiber comments on Thelma’s Editing of Someone to Watch Over (family saga in upmarket women’s fiction):
[at beginning of editing process] “A debt of gratitude for your inspired input and guidance; it’s so much stronger, tighter and is feeling much more presentable! I feel really good about where we are.”
[upon completion] “Thanks so much for your valuable input – not only in this final chapter, but the entire book. I knew adapting it from the screenplay would add depth and breadth by virtue that it’s possible to get more inside the characters and their backstories and journeys, but this exceeded my greatest hopes.”
Note: The completed manuscript won the 2019 Rising Star Award for excellence (competition held by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association).
- Author E.B. Corbin comments on Thelma’s Editing of Too Many Lies (mystery/suspense novel):
“Your services were not only helpful but very easy to work with. I found that going one chapter at a time was more beneficial than sending the whole manuscript and then having to review the entire thing at once. The attention to sequencing in the sentences and paragraphs was a big help, too.”
- Author C.A. Balawyder comments on Thelma’s Editing of Missi’s Dating Adventures (novella):
“I really, really like your choice of words and how economical you are compared to me. It reads more smoothly. For example, you replaced ‘put myself through the torture’ by the word ‘endure.’ ”
“You’re also good at showing, not telling as in: At eight forty-five, he dropped me off at my doorstep. I knew the exact time because I had been glancing at my watch all evening.”
“I find Missi is more and more coming across as a lovable character. I think a lot of women could empathize and relate to her.”
- Author comments on Thelma’s Editing of Café Paradise (novella):
“Thanks for these great edits. As usual, I like your choice of words and how you arranged the order of sentences and paragraphs to make it flow so much better.”
“I like how you handled the scene with the bank manager. You really kept the spirit of what I wanted to say, but much tighter and subtler. Great!”
“There’s so much that I like about this version. It’s so dynamic and economical. I love the dialogue between Suzy and Coen. It’s tight and has a lot of energy to it. I also really liked this image: ‘I felt as if someone had punched a hole in the balloon that housed my dreams and now the whole thing was rapidly deflating.’ ”
“Thanks for your inspiring suggestions! You bring great ideas to the work.”
- Author comments on Thelma’s Editing of Not by Design (novella):
“Thanks for these changes that really tighten the writing. The dialogue is more natural and I like the stronger dynamics between Marco and Felicity. There’s tension and we can see how much she wants to get closer to him.”
“Oh, you did a wonderful job and it does have a stronger emotional pull. Thanks so much for bringing it up to this level. It’s as if I’ve given you the raw ingredients for a cake and you’ve not only made a great tasting cake with just the right balance of ingredients, but have also added interesting spices and decorated it.”
“I find it stimulating, motivating and fun working with you.”
Author Carol Balawyder