Every Writer Needs a Little Help

I’ve wanted to start bringing you a few author service providers for a long time. I extended a few invitations, and Staci Troilo took me up on it.

I can vouch for Staci’s work. She’s helped me in so many ways. Here’s Staci to tell us about her services.


Thanks for inviting me to visit again, Craig.

For those of you who don’t know (and honestly, that’s probably none of you), Craig and I are founding members of Story Empire, a site dedicated to helping authors with writing, publishing, and marketing. Since its inception, he and I have become not only colleagues, but friends, and as such, we’ve come to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

He asked me to visit today to talk a little about editing, one of my strengths.

I started earning money to write and edit when I was still in college. Different professors showed my work to their colleagues who were looking for writers, and each hired me. I tell you this to demonstrate how long (and I mean l…o…n…g) I’ve been working in the field.

When I worked those jobs, the clients “edited” my work. I use quotes because neither of my clients was a writer or professional editor, but each of them had final say on the wording. That work wasn’t too bad, all things considered. But not everyone can edit, and these bosses—though competent in their respective fields—were not editors in the proper sense of the word.

After I got my master’s degree and started working in the private sector, my bosses were always trained editors. And the work I did for those companies was solid.

You’re probably wondering why I’m rambling on about business writing rather than fiction editing. It’s because, regardless of the genre, even experienced writers need an editor. (Also, don’t forget—writing fiction is a business and should be treated as such.)

I’ve got a pretty decent body of published work, and this year it’s poised to grow considerably. (To view my complete catalogue or keep up with my releases, visit my site.) I’m a hybrid author (I’m both traditionally-published and self-published). It probably goes without saying that I have an editor for my work with the traditional houses. It might interest you to know that even though I’m a professional editor, I still have someone else edit my indie titles. Yes, editing is that important in the publishing process. And no, you should not be your own editor.

I’ve worked as an editor at three different publishing companies, and I now freelance. In each case, I’ve conducted all three types of edits*:

1. Developmental Edits

2. 2. Copy Edits

3. Line Edits

(*Please note that terminology may differ for these three categories depending on the source of the information, but the services are the same.)

Developmental edits are the most intensive to complete. To conduct a developmental edit, the editor will help guide the author in the structure of the piece. A developmental editor will do things like:

• point out alternative directions or gaping plot holes

• note inconsistencies

• show ways to further develop characters and their arcs

This service is best for novice authors who do not understand the foundations of writing fiction (things like premise, theme, and structure).

Copy edits are usually conducted after an author has self-edited her draft. This doesn’t mean you should ask for a copy edit of your first draft. First drafts are usually dirty drafts that will benefit from the author’s own clean-up efforts. But once an author has made several passes through the document, made revisions, sent it to beta readers for feedback, and revised again, it’s time to get a copy edit. A copy editor will note things like:

• flow problems

• weak word choices

• POV breaks

This is a type of edit that benefits novice and intermediate-level authors. It is helpful for authors who have structure under control but struggle with mechanics.

Line edits are the simplest type of editing. This is the final clean-up before a work is published. Line editors mark issues like:

• misplaced and dangling modifiers

• typographical errors

• punctuation problems

This type of edit is beneficial for writers of all levels, novice through professional. While experienced writers are probably aware of these pitfalls, even they will find it difficult to pinpoint such problems in their own work. We become blind to our words because we know what we want them to be, and consequently, we don’t see what they actually are.

I joined Story Empire because I enjoy working with authors. That’s the same reason I love working as an editor. I like to help writers expand their knowledge and polish their work. Besides, I learn something from every person I work with. I’ve also developed many friendships along the way and received some truly heartwarming feedback.

• Staci Troilo is a superb editor who understands the creative process, offering suggestions without stepping the artistic choices of the author. She’s thorough, efficient, and sensitive. She’s also knowledgeable in the mechanics of all aspects of writing. (P. C. Zick)

• She is AMAZING! She took my text, and added bullets, subheads, and pull quotes to make the material much easier for readers to consume, all without making any changes to my voice or style. (Jennifer Dunne)

• Staci is the best hire I’ve ever made. She’s talented, dedicated, professional, and as hardworking as they come. (Casey Cowan)

• Staci gets three out of three for the traits necessary to do well in a business environment: she is on time, she has great skills, and she’s easy to work with. (Duke Pennell)

These excerpts from published reviews (see the full reviews plus more of my credentials here) mean a lot to me, because they tell me I’m not only doing what I set out to do professionally, I’m also making other people happy. And at the end of the day, I can consider my career and my life a success if I leave this world a better place (in any manner) than how I found it.

If you are interested in my editing services, you can find more information here. If you like what you see, fill out the contact form and we can talk about your project.

Because I’m also an indie author, I understand the budget-crunch writers face, and as such, I keep my prices well below industry standard. I also offer a fast turnaround time (usually under two weeks) and will consider rush jobs.

I want all authors to shine, which is why I try to be accommodating and flexible. If you have special needs, please feel free to discuss them with me.




Filed under Writing

49 responses to “Every Writer Needs a Little Help

  1. Great post. Every author needs editing and finding someone you can trust is difficult.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can testify for your skills, Staci!
    You always take my words and make them a world better, with the added challenge that English is not my mother language.
    And I’m always amazed at how fast you are!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Staci, a great guest post and clearly explaining the various forms of edits. Congratulations on the terrific reviews and I am bookmarking this and might well come to you with my novel in a while.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    Need an editor?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m another one who can testify to your skills. You certainly know your stuff and the fiction writing business.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Add me to Staci’s list of clients – she just edited my new book and did a fantastic job!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: Write Drunk, Edit Sober? | Staci Troilo

  8. Craig, I’d like to thank you for hosting me today. I’d also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation for all the kind words you said about me in reply to everyone’s comments. It means a lot to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Staci is a class act. There’s no question she knows her stuff. Although I have an editor through my publisher, should I ever publish another indie novel, she’ll be the editor I call on. Editing is so important for a finished work and every indie author should be sure they take that final step. Staci and I are critique partners, and even at the crit stage I am amazed at the things she catches in my work. Fabulous post today, you two!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is a wonderful post. Staci, I did not know you provided editing services. I am smack in the middle of going back to my very first book and trying to edit it. I have learned so much since then and I want the book to be the best it can be. I truly wish I could afford to hire you today to help me with this process. I’ve never claimed to be an editor and it is tedious for me. Thank you, Craig, for letting us know about Staci and her abilities.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is handy. I didn’t know Staci did editing, I’ll keep her name in mind for future projects, thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks, Craig and Staci. Always good to know about available help.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Awesome share, Staci and Craig.
    Staci, it’s great to know you offer this service. Also, fantastic reviews and recommendations to be proud of! Cheers to you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Editing yourself is the way to madness and a bad piece of work!
    Thanks for putting such a great resource for us all! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s