You've come to the right place if...
You think it is finished, but is it really ready for the world? Will it do you "proud?" Or...
...you want to understand what is holding your memoir back from going deeper, from being more insightful.
You've been writing as best you can—for perhaps far too long—and you just don't know what's in the way of creating a manuscript with more punch. An editor can help. Or...
...you are a novice writer and you suspect (perhaps even know) that there are better writing practices than what you are now doing.
An editor will accelerate your learning the best writing process and help you finish a better manuscript in shorter time. While we firmly believe that writing a memoir needs to be a process before it can be a goal, even process-oriented writing need not take forever.
The big New York publishing houses NEVER publish a manuscript without extensive editing!
Have you ever read a biography of a famous writer?
- Hemingway worked extensively with Max Scribner who would return voluminous notes on what he felt Hemingway's manuscript needed. Hemingway listened to his editor.
- Jack Kerouac had Robert Giroux as editor. Giroux extensively edited Kerouac manuscripts, and on occasion, made textual changes to submit for Kerouac's approval. Kerouac knew enough to follow Giroux's lead.
- Virginia Woolf always turned her manuscript over to her husband, Leonard, for editing before sending her book out into the world.
Have you wondered why even writers of the highest caliber need editors?
Is memoir editing important? Following are reasons even the Hemingways, the Kerouacs, and the Woolfs need editors. As you (and they) write day after day, over the months and years it takes to complete a manuscript, some of the pitfalls we all become prey to include:
- becoming attached to your prose. Often, we are enamored of particular scenes and go from tolerating their extraneous quality to feeling comfortable with the fact that they do not contribute to your memoir. Aren't they so well-written and such good memories! In our self-editing, we become indulgent and leave the "little darlings" in. Many writing workshops justly talk about "killing your little darlings"—that is, editing them out. You don't have to worry about your Memoir Network editor being indulgent with the "little darlings."
- being blind to your faults. After all, most of us do not see our faults, and if we do, they do not seem so serious. The fact is they get in the way of the reader's access to your story. Your editor will point these out and will suggest alternative approaches.
- growing ever more comfortable to your misuse of words, phrases and concepts. This is the easy part of editing for a professional, but it can also be, if not corrected, a reason readers put a story down and do not recommend it to their friends. Your editor will do these corrections as a matter of form. A piece of cake!
- confusing wanting to write about something with writing about it. This leaves blocks in your story to which you are no longer sensitive. You are telling the whole story in your mind—but the whole of your story is not down on paper. Your editor will pick up on this and guide you to write everything in. After all, the written story is the only access your reader has to your story. If it's not written, it's not in the story!
Should you ask your sister-in-law who teaches high-school English and is "real good" with words to do an edit in her spare time?
Memoir Network editors commit totally to your manuscript. There is no spare-time attention with us! We ask you for your timeline and we do everything in our power to meet it. In addition, we have all written and/or edited books. It's work we're good at. So... you can confidently expect us to edit fast and with insight. Can the same be said for a relative who will "get to your memoir when I can"?
Just as a New York publisher will always hire professional editors to help bring a manuscript to its full potential, you too need to structure—and to schedule—the editing function into your writing project.
I want to express my deep appreciation for your thorough and comprehensive editorial comments, and your insight on needed corrections for my manuscript.—Shelbert Smith, Editing Client
Memoir editing is our specialty
An editor provides essential help to you by bringing professional skills and sensitivity to the rewriting process. Sometimes small changes, such as story order or links and transitions between sections, can make a manuscript stop mumbling and start singing!
You may have doubts or concerns about the quality of your memoir but be caught in cycles of tweakings and little changes that don’t seem to be the fix your manuscript needs. Often, your manuscript calls for revisioning and rethinking rather than a change of this word for that one.
Your Memoir Network editor will be the catalyst who will get your manuscript ready for publication—in the way it deserves to be and in record time.
Our experienced memoir editors:
I had never received editing the way you folks at The Memoir Network do it. When my editor pointed out how my character's dialog in the middle of the book contradicted what I had her say at the beginning, I knew I had a serious reader who was going to help me shape my story.
You folks take editing as seriously as I take telling my story. It's been a good fit.—Sandra Swain
Whether you are a first-time, a one-time, or a many-time writer, memoir editing can help you to make your book the best it can be.
Are you ready to work with a memoir editor?
We offer an introductory package—try us for a three-hour commitment. That's it: three hours! If we're a fit, you ask us for more time. If we're not a fit, we go our separate ways.
Take the next step & call us today!
207-353-5454, M-F, 9-5 ET or email us to set up an appointment. Suggest three dates and times that work for you and we will confirm one.