"There is no great writing, only great rewriting."
Everyone has at least one book inside him/her, or so the saying goes, and this may be true. If so, it is also true that those self-same everyone are going to need help learning the writing craft and the art of rewriting and revision. (Did I mention grammar and style? -- That too.)
That's what I do.
I work with new fiction writers only. So, if you're struggling with your first manuscript, if you have a great idea but don't know how to get it down on paper, I'm the person you want to call. I'll help you find the necessary point of view, your writer's voice, develop your particular style, work out an organized plot so you can write with purpose and lastly, help you breathe life into your work. Then and only then, we'll look at grammar and style.
"How much do I charge?" you ask. That is impossible to ascertain without learning of your skill level, your project and your long term goals.
In order to do that, here's what I suggest: Send me a sample of your work of no more than 2,000 words, using my contact below, embedded in an email (no attachments without prior authorization, please) and I will review, critique and edit your work -- at no cost to you.
What will this sample review consist of? I will use MSWord and set up an editing pane where I can leave comments and explanations for every suggested change (I will not change your work.) Then, I will return the editing sheet to you.
Also, I will send you a copy of your passage as it would read were you to incorporate all of my suggested changes. Lastly, you'll receive a short critique, listing your strengths and those areas where I sense a weakness, and what you can do to improve those weaknesses. After that, should you decide you'd like to work with me, we'll discuss the details and their costs.
"But I'm a starving artist," you exclaim.
Well who isn't? One does not take up writing to become rich, or if that is your secret fantasy, disabuse yourself of it now. The odds of making any kind of living as a writer, are long, so long I can't come up with a suitable metaphor. (Metaphors? -- they are like similes.) I've been writing a long time, and I consider a published work a success if it covers the cost of getting the book out there. And no -- I don't self-publish but I do return much of the income from my books back into marketing.
Your assumed poverty is why I keep my fees minimal. If I like your style, your potential, your project, we will find a way to work together. This is a labor of love, not life support.
Editors? Who needs an editor? -- anyone who puts words together for someone else to read. I've studied writing for many years, but where did I learn the most? -- my editors.
Feel free to check out my references. You'll find them lower on this page under the heading Testimonials.
Tell me about your project and what areas you think may require my help, and I can suggest a course of action. Then, when you're ready, send me that sample, and I'll have a look. Or simply, be adventurous, and send the sample -- you have nothing to lose, and possibly much to gain.
If you're looking for someone with a sympathetic attitude, though I must admit my tongue can be sharp, email me.
If you are sending me a sample of your work, don't forget -- attachments need prior authorization, or they will be deleted.
Lynda M. Martin
See the "Good Writing Is" page for some of my published articles for new writers
"I want to thank you for your help, your tact, your persistence and most of all, your patience. I learned so much, and you taught me to bring my stories to life. Thank you. Are you ready for the next?" Mary Petty, Mississauga, Ontario
Thanks for insisting I go forward, get out the bones and find the destination. If not for your advice, I'd still be trying to perfect the first chapter instead of 'fleshing out the whole.' I'm grateful to your commonsense. And of course, your grammar." -- Arnie Densch, White City, Saskatchewan.
"I'm thrilled you asked me to give a reference for your site. So here goes. I'm only fifteen and trying to become a writer. You encouraged me all the time while teaching me the basics. I love how you say writing a story is like building a house. Well, I got the walls up now and I'm painting. Can't wait to send you the latest rewrite." -- Josie Campbell, Kingstown, New Hampshire
"Thank you so much for your very prompt and efficient help with my story. I have learned many invaluable lessons from your edit. I really appreciate how you showed me how to make it better. I am on to my next draft and chapter now. Your encouragement was the nudge I needed to keep going on this endeavor of mine. As an inexperienced writer, I can't thank you enough. Come to Mississippi and I will be the first one in line for your book signing. I am already a fan. Thanks for telling me to pace myself and not be in such a hurry. One sentence at a time, that's my new mantra." -- Tammy Lochman, Jackson, Mississippi visit Tammy's publishing site
"Lynda Martin offered a free -- yes free -- edit of my story if I would like to have it done. Pleased anyone would be so kind, I hesitated because I would never like anyone to do work for free. Mrs. Martin waved my objections away and I emailed my story to her. When I wrote it, I knew I didn't do well at certain areas. Mrs. Martin gave me ideas where to improve, but without pushing everything else aside. I can only say she is a fine editor and a very helpful and kind person. She is now encouraging me to expand my little stories into a children's book, and I couldn't imagine working with anybody else. I recommend her services." -- Hanna Hardy, London, England visit Hanna's publishing site