Crystal Sheldon was working on her first novel for publishing. The story is crafted around missing memories and a lurking evil. She asked for my developmental editing and some custom post developmental services.
How I Helped
I ran through my usual process of helping develop the story and characters. Crystal then went to work making changes. Further levels of editing became a bit of a budget challenge for the first-time self-publisher, so I found a way to help.
Using software that helps me quickly identify some common red flags in writing, I created reports that highlighted one specific issue. Generic descriptions, for example. This report highlighted common words like “big” and indicators like “look” for review.
The AI is far from perfect, so I included things to be aware of when reviewing each highlighted part. Certainly a thesaurus can help with some, but I also included a variety of tips to adjust generic descriptions without simply replacing the word. Finally, the report gave data on the average number of uses of each indicated word for the fantasy genre. Sometimes these words get used. They didn’t all need to be “fixed.”
This system allowed Crystal to clean up her writing, with video call support when needed, while staying on budget.
The experience for Crystal
Zac has been an amazing editor, especially for a first time publishing author. I love that he wanted to talk with me via video chat/call first to get a feel for what I was looking for and about my book and world. He was true to his word and was able to get through my 80k word story in 1 month for the first round of content/developmental editing, giving me notes and then a comprehensive review of characters, world, pacing, etc. He helped me get through a slow spot where I had writers block at one point and was wonderful help with line editing, helping me clean up overused words and making me a better writer. Thank you, Zac! It's been a pleasure working with you and I can't wait to get you my next book once it's written!