Not everyone who needs help writing a book wants the full Ruby Peru ghostwriting service. Many are determined to write their own books, and I’m happy to support those folks, too. A lot of people writing spiritual and personal growth memoirs fall under that heading. When it just has to be in your own voice, and writing the book yourself is part of your healing process, you need some level of editorial support rather than a ghostwriting service. But writers or would-be writers don’t usually know exactly what type of help to ask for, so here are some options for aspiring writers who need ongoing support.
A book plan critique is an ideal type of help for would-be writers
who have an idea for a book. They may even have an outline or synopsis of the book written but aren’t sure if their idea is interesting enough, if the character arc of a novel concept is strong enough, or if the thematic idea of a nonfiction book is original enough. When it comes to memoirs about spiritual or personal growth, these often deal with overcoming traumatic situations, and those memories provide a lot of fodder for compelling stories. Still, you need to know where to start telling your story and what part of it to focus on. I can read your preliminary materials, listen to your book idea, and provide useful feedback and encouragement to get you started on the right foot. If you already have a draft of your spiritual book, personal growth memoir, or other original work,
you may be ready for a manuscript review.
These are also called “developmental edits” or “substantive edits.” What I do in this case is to read your entire draft and provide a high-level critique of the overall plot, argument, or message. I won’t fix your spelling or punctuation errors in this critique. Instead, I’ll note parts of the plot where the action and suspense are lacking, sections that may be too wordy and slow down the momentum, and aspects of the overall story that are confusing or not paced well. Memoirs, fictional books, and nonfiction can all benefit from a full professional manuscript review once a first draft is complete.
If you’re nearly ready to go to press with your spiritual or personal growth memoir, you’ll need your book proofread, and no, you can’t do it yourself.
You could be an all-American spelling bee champion, but you still can’t proofread your own work. It’s not just about knowing proper spelling and punctuation. It’s about the proofreader not being the person who wrote the manuscript. No matter what type of book you’re writing, you need a fresh pair of eyes on it before you go to print. The term “copy editing” also encompasses proofreading. For the purposes of editing a book manuscript, I consider them basically the same.
I also offer a type of editing I kind-of invented myself called a style critique.
This is a great service for anyone who wants to become a better writer, paragraph-by-paragraph. Maybe you feel confident in your overall plotting skill and aren’t in a position yet to need a proofreader, but you want to know if your spiritual memoir, personal growth book, novel, or political screed is well-written. You wonder how to best use description to slow down or speed up the book’s action. You wonder if your scenes are coming alive, and if not, how to make them do it better.
The real advantage of working with a professional writer in this case (well, in all these cases, really) is that:
I will not only tell you what is wrong with your manuscript but how to fix it.
I’m not going to just tell you I don’t like something and leave it at that and say, “good luck!” I’ve been serving clients professionally, writing big projects based upon hundreds of pages of research, for more than twenty years now, so I know how to identify errors, slow spots, confusing plot twists, and dull language in manuscripts. But more importantly, I know how to fix these errors, which is something the members of your local writers’ group probably can’t help you with.
So, if you’re determined to write your book yourself but need someone to turn to for in-depth editorial help, remember that help is out there. I provide it, but so do lots of other writers and editors. Unlike painters and musicians and many other types of artists, writers don’t go it alone all the way to the sale of the product. You absolutely will need some type of editorial help. You want it to come from a source you trust, because it will cost you money. When you go proudly to publication, it’s important to rest assured that money was well spent!