Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My Very First Editorial Letter

I got my very first editorial letter yesterday. After going through all of Amazon's suggestions, I read my book start to finish. I loved their input, and believe my story is stronger because of it. But some of what they had to say surprised me.

I thought I'd share pieces of it here.

I really enjoyed this story! I looked forward to reading each chapter. I was surprised, I was shocked, I laughed, I worried, and I wondered what would happen, right along with the characters. The story contains elements of humor, emotion, fantasy, intrigue, suspense, the importance of values and individuality, and more. Very early on, I found myself truly caring about the characters, especially Evie. You establish the humanity of your characters—again, especially Evie—and give the reader elements to relate to and people to root for, before even discovering the story’s secrets. There’s a pervasive sense that no matter how good the story already is, or how juicy the intrigue, there’s more to come. That’s not an easy feat to accomplish and I think your readers will appreciate the time and care you put into this story. My editorial focus was on tightening your syntax and flow so that your storytelling can do its work even more effectively. I’ve polished and refined the language as needed to make the path to the heart of your story that much clearer.

Structure/Plot Flow

Tone and Style

I grouped these sections together because the issues that affect both are very similar.

You have a great command of the feeling of your story—the emotion, the action, the plot, and pacing are strong. You are in control of the story and it’s clearly very focused and driven from the beginning. I think you can really improve the flow and the tone and style of the story—making these even more compelling—by tightening and reigning in description. Trust your characters’ actions to be enough for the reader to understand what they are feeling. 


·         The character development is very strong and well organized. I really understood the characters personalities, idiosyncrasies, and motivations.
·         My only concern was that Evie’s dad seemed to sort of fade out as the story progressed. It was obvious that they were not that close, but I think it would be helpful to maybe wrap up their interaction again before the story ends. I also was curious as to why Evie was living with Uncle Mitch in the first place. It’s vaguely understood…but it could be a little more concrete in case the reader is wondering the same thing. 

·         It’s best to let dialogue speak for itself, rather than telling the reader how the narrator’s voice sounded.
     Example: “I’m okay, Mrs. Mateo,” I called. “I just dropped my…stuff.”
     Change: “I’m okay, Mrs. Mateo,” I said. “I just dropped my…stuff.”
     The previous paragraph indicated that Mrs. Mateo was in the kitchen. Since we know the character is in her bedroom, it’s understood that she would have called out her answer.

Point of View

·         Point of view is strong throughout the piece and does not confuse the reader.

·         Overall the grammar in this text is strong. I corrected a few grammatical and spelling errors according to CMoS as they appeared during the edit, but there were no major grammatical issues. I also corrected several sentence fragments. I left some as is when I felt they were the author’s stylistic choice. The main issue was repetition of terms, which was already addressed.
·         I changed some instances of passive voice:

            Example: A knocking sounded on the window.
            Change: I heard a knock at the window.
·        ·         I retained your usage of okay (rather than OK)—it was consistent throughout. 

Other Comments

I hope these edits and comments are valuable in helping the manuscript achieve your publishing goals. Good luck in your revision, and I wish you all the best for this manuscript and future books. There is definitely more to Evie’s story. I look forward to reading the Witch Ways sequel or series! 


  1. What a wonderful and talented editor! To recognize your awesome talent!
    and to give you even more insights.
    Go Kristy!!