|Location||Carrie O'Grady, Hackney, LONDON N16|
Are you stuck on your novel? Need a friendly, expert fiction editor who's positive and enthusiastic? I’ll make your book the best it can be.
As a former copy-editor and fiction reviewer for the Guardian, with experience at Faber & Faber, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what makes a great novel – and I can help you create one.
I offer three levels of editing service. There’s the manuscript critique, which aims to help writers who are stuck on their novel, or who are not feeling confident that it's ready to be unleashed on the world. I'll read your manuscript carefully and write you an editorial letter, five to twelve pages long, that takes an in-depth look at your novel, with a view to making it the best it can possibly be. I won't be grading your writing as if it were homework; I'll be coming up with fresh ideas to bolster what you've already got. The idea is for you to come away inspired and energised, ready to create.
The second service I offer is a full developmental edit. You'll receive an appraisal as detailed above, but I'll also go through your manuscript carefully and edit the text to eliminate the problems I've identified. For example, if a key scene isn't suspenseful enough, I can rework it so as to step up the tension. If you have a gaping plot hole, I'll find a way to fill it. If your dialogue is sloppy, I'll tighten it up. By the end, not only will your novel be immeasurably improved, but you'll be a better writer, too.
The third service is straightforward copy-editing, for clients whose work is more or less complete but needs a professional eye cast over it before it’s sent out into the world. This includes:
- fixing grammar, spelling and punctuation
- eliminating repetitions and inconsistencies
- taking out clichés and clangers
- spotting larger problems such as plot holes, impossibilities and implausibilities, and alerting you (but not fixing them for you)
- tightening up the prose to give it as much energy and verve as possible, while remaining true to your voice and rhythm.
My many years of copy-editing have given me the ability to polish, cut and correct any text quickly and sympathetically. If English is your second language, or if you're self-publishing, this service is essential. See my website for more details.
Developmental/substantive editing, consultancy (editorial), copy-editing, proofreading, rewriting
Books, newspapers, magazines
Freelance since 2016; proofreading for Angry Robot publishers (speculative fiction and fantasy); production editor, Guardian, 2001–09; fiction reviewer, Guardian, 1998–2009, editorial assistant, Faber & Faber, 2000
Fiction (literary, crime/mystery, thrillers, adult, popular, commercial, suspense, science fiction/fantasy)
In 2019 I organised a conference for 60+ fiction editors, with sessions on various aspects of editing fiction, such as dealing with point of view and crafting manuscript assessments.
Developmental Editing of Fiction (Editorial Freelancers' Association)
Copy-editing (Editors' Association of Canada)
Sub-editing (London College of Printing, now the London College of Communication)
I'd been working on a novel for five years and was stuck in a knot – until Carrie untangled it and made me see all the threads much more clearly. Thanks to her, I've now got an agent and hope to be published next year.
Carrie is an absolute pleasure to work with. While I was absorbed with my book Left Before Right, Carrie has helped me develop the ability to write for an audience. She has a natural understanding of plot structure and a great sense of character perception. My writing has improved drastically and I would recommend her to anyone who is looking to publish. She’s truly fab!
I could not have been happier with Carrie's structural edit of my first novel. Her eye-opening professional insight and attention to detail were matched by her enthusiasm and communication throughout the process. She gave huge encouragement, and not only highlighted potential problems, but gave wonderful suggestions of how to fix them. As a result, the final work is immeasurably stronger. I could not recommend the service highly enough for anyone serious about their writing, and will definitely send my next book Carrie's way too.
I have previously had a number of assessments from various companies and I felt as though I was stuck on an endless draft and re-draft merry go round. Each assessment offered advice, but none seemed to really take hold of my story and promote it forward. That is where Carrie’s approach is different: she has really taken an interest in me, my work, and the goals I have. I feel that I am now moving forward with purpose. Her report was extensive, detailed, and concise, and not only highlighted issues but offered considered solutions to those issues; practical things I could do to improve my manuscript. If you wish to know what needs fixing with your work, and how to fix it, then I would recommend Carrie without hesitation.
Carrie provided expert developmental editing for my first foray into fiction writing. I was quite nervous about sharing the manuscript with her. She offered a supportive and firm hand in walking me through a structural edit of the book. Anyone who wants to work with an editor who is warm, constructive, and thorough should hire Carrie O’Grady.