You want a memoir editor who can write, teach, and edit brilliantly.
An editor must understand how to use writing craft, how to teach you to enhance your craft, and how to communicate solutions directly, yet with the support necessary for you to succeed.
I have two books published by St. Martin’s Press, including a literary memoir and America’s go-to guide for writing memoir; a long history of teaching at university level; years of editing privately with writers completing books; and dozens of speaking engagements sharing the art and craft of memoir.
Here is what I do for you as an editor:
First, I get inside the story you’ve written. I seek the goals you are reaching for.
Second, when I understand your intentions, I determine if you’ve achieved them. If there is something to be learned, I teach that. If there is development of content, or editing to be done, I do that.
Third, I advise about what makes narrative nonfiction work and what must be done to achieve publication.
If you have written many pages, but the story isn’t coming together, we talk. I listen and ask questions. Then I steer and make writing suggestions. I analyze drafts and give feedback. Together we move your story forward so that is has a narrative arc and a singular voice.
Whenever I have your manuscript pages before me, I read slowly, writing thoughts, explanations, and examples on your pages. I name what works, what doesn’t work, why it does or does not work, and how to fix it. I send you these pages and my analysis report. We talk on the phone or via Skype, clarify questions, and devise a way for you to move toward publication.
I love this work.
Lisa Dale Norton, author of the bestselling book Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir, edits, coaches and teaches memoir writing internationally. She is the author of the literary memoir Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills compared to the writing of Annie Dillard. Both Norton’s books are published by St. Martin’s Press, New York.