My favorite reference books
A few of MY Favorite Writing Books:
TECHNIQUES OF A SELLING WRITER by Dwight Swain; and Swain's student's book on the same subject:
SCENE AND STRUCTURE by Jack Bickham (This is one of the The Writer's Digest "How to" series) All are good.
STORY: SUBSTANCE, STRUCTURE, STYLE AND THE PRINCIPLES OF SCREENWRITING by Robert McKee
THE WRITER'S JOURNEY by Christopher Vogler (2nd edition.)
HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD NOVEL (I & II) by James N. Frey
HOW TO TELL A STORY by Peter Rubie and Gary Provost
THE WEEKEND NOVELIST by Robert J. Ray
CREATING CHARACTERS by Dwight Swain
FICTION IS FOLKS by Robert N. Peck
CREATING UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS by Linda Seger
WRITING ROMANCE by Vanessa Grant
THE WORDSWORTH DICTIONARY OF CLICHE by Terry & David Freedman, 1996.
THE DREADED SYNOPSIS, order through her web site
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, 1993
HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-270061-8
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B.White, 1979 MacMillan
Publishing, ISBN 0-02-418190-0
The Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer, 1986 MacMillan Publishing, ISBN 0-02-015440-2
HOW TO WRITE A BLOCKBUSTER NOVEL by Al Zuckerman;
WRITING DOWN THE BONES by Natalie Goldberg;
THESAURUS OF ALTERNATIVES TO WORN-OUT WORDS AND PHRASES by Robert Hartwell Fiske, Writer's Digest Books. ISBN#0898796016
WRITER'S MARKET (ANNUAL) This one also comes in a CD rom/ online edition and can be searched and sorted by various criteria which is nice. Also you get access to its website for updates.
NOVEL AND SHORT STORY WRITERS' MARKET
HOW TO BE YOUR OWN LITERARY AGENT by Richard Curtis
FICTION WRITERS' SILENT PARTNER
GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS
MERRIAM WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY, TENTH EDITION (has dates of first usage of words, wonderful for historical writers.)
ROGET'S SUPER THESAURUS (second edition) by Marc McCutcheon
Reader's Digest's FAMILY WORD FINDER (1975, out of print.)
WHAT'S WHAT edited by Bragonier and Fisher
To buy these books on Amazon, click the link below, then copy and paste the title and author into the Amazon search box.
I majored in English and Journalism in college. I also read a lot and have always been a nut for finding dangling modifiers, wrong words used, missing commas, quotation marks or the wrong punctuation in my critique partners' work. Besides that, I have written and published twenty-two novels myself, so I'm no stranger to working with editors.
So, it's not surprising to my friends that I went on to edit and proofread other people's novels. I have edited or proofread hundreds of novels for various epublishers over the years. Lately, I have worked with Melange Books and Whiskey Creek Press using the editor name: Fern Valentine.
I prefer romances, romantic suspense novels and cozy mysteries. I refuse to do gory, violent novels such as war stories, vampire stories, medieval or horror stories. They give me nightmares, so if you love blood and gore, please find another editor.
My editing rates vary from $1 to $2 per industry standard page of 250 words. The reason for the variance, of course, is that the amount of work required differs from author to author. To get a more accurate estimate, email me the first chapter (20 pages or less) of your work (as attached Word documents only, please) along with a short, one page synopsis. I will do a free edit or proofread as you request on those pages, so you can see a sample of my work and I will have an idea of the amount of work involved.
I can work in either Word's track changes or simply mark the needed changes like this: Deletions in parenthesis and additions or my comments in brackets. Then I return the novel to you. You make the changes you agree with (it's YOUR NOVEL, after all) or put in a comment why you feel it should stay as you had it. Then you return it to me for a second read-through (included) and then I'll return it to you with any further comments or concerns. I much prefer working by sending work back and forth by email.
If you feel your story is already polished and only needs proofreading, I can do that for 25 to 50 cents per page, or $50 to $100 for a 50,000 word novel, again, depending on the amount of errors that require fixing.
I require one-half the fee in advance.
If you need an editor or proofreader, email me with the required sample as stated above. I will reply with an estimate of the cost and whether or when I have time in my schedule to take on your project. My email is: email@example.com