Why, Naked Editor?
Because I believe in order to find the power inside a manuscript you have to strip fiction down to the bones. Cut the fluff and find the core of the characters and plot. Many writers head into a project with too much at once. They have created a full life for their manuscript and its characters. At this stage, writers can’t see the words for what they are anymore. It makes for either too much going into each line, or not enough.
Can a story survive in this state?
Voice gets lost, there is misguided emotion, characters are missing motivation, relationships don’t hold the reader’s attention, description dumps slow the pace, and a writer’s precious story is lost.
What happens when you shop a story like this to an agent or publisher?
And most of the time…the writer doesn’t know why. But, I do.
I have experience as an actor, book seller, a literary agent’s assistant, and freelance fiction editor.
With my professional actor training, I look at fiction from the character’s eyes. This view can show an author where they are lacking in cause-effect relationships, awkward body language, static wording, meaningless dialogue, and cadence flops. My skills as an editor/agent can pinpoint where there are weaknesses in plot, each character, and each character relationship.
My perspective on a manuscript spans from the inside out, and from the outside in.
I see myself like Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code (minus the stuffy sport coat.) The clue filled passage is stretched out in front of him, and as he is reading, words and symbols light up, zipping from here to there. Words are all we have to light the path to publication. That is what I see when I edit a manuscript, bright and shiny clues, leading me to the writer’s potential.