Are you ready to stop second-guessing yourself and tune into your self-trust as a writer to uncover the incredible novel or memoir beneath the surface of your current draft?

I can help.

I’m a book coach for writers of thoughtful fiction and memoir. If you have a first draft, I can help you on the revising and editing journey, as you tune into your self-trust and create a much-loved, marketable book. A book that will be read until the spines are creased and the corners are foxed.

I’m a former literary academic, and my time teaching undergraduates in the tutorial system at the University of Oxford, together with my struggles with writing a book, made me put coaching at the heart of my one-to-one work.  Because I believe that the best work comes from a place of self-trust.

Hands-on attention to the words on the page, without the disempowering effect of the red pen. Without setting myself up as the authority on your book and your voice.  My approach sits somewhere on the spectrum between developmental editing and book coaching, moving along that spectrum as seems best.

The process involves starting with the ‘big picture’ elements; the heart of the story you’re telling, the genre that fits it best, and the positioning of the book in terms of your ideal reader. Then we move on to tuning up the pace of the book, looking at its structural elements and making sure each act, sequence and scene is well shaped and therefore compelling, and that the story has an overarching unity of message, a message that resonates with you on a deep level. After the scenes are working we focus on style and tone, refining the expression and intensifying your true voice. 

Everything I do is in the context of a collaborative process aimed at tuning into your self-trust as a writer. Our work is rooted in energising and profound conversations about your work and your vision.  Depending on what you feel you’d most like to focus on, we can start with any of the packages below or you can work your way through all three (in which case, I’d advise doing them in order).  If you’re unsure what’s the best route, don’t hesitate to get in touch and tell me about your work, and we’ll go from there.

Make Your Story Sing

Craft a marketable book without second-guessing yourself.  Nurture your self-trust as a writer. 

Kitchen Table Sounding Board

One intensely focused two-hour session, either in person or on skype or phone. Probably fuelled by caffeine.

Alternatively, if it suits you better, we can do this entirely by email or text chat. 

In advance of our meeting, I will read your entire manuscript, and you will complete a questionnaire about your challenges, your hopes, and your vision for the book.
When we meet we will discuss your book. This is my favourite thing about this work, and it’s hard to explain. I bring to the table my analysis, but most of all my intuition, about the book that is not quite on the page, as well as a process for getting to the heart of your story.

You’ll come away with a new sense of clarity about your book, buzzing with targeted ideas for revision, with solutions to problems, and excited to get stuck into rewriting.
I’ll write up a list of action points within 24 hours of our call and you will also receive a digital recording of the call (if you’re happy to be recorded).

You’ll also be able to access email support from me for one month after our call (value £99)

Your investment: £150 (introductory price)

Click here to start the conversation with a simple questionnaire…

Page turning; improve the shape and pace of your book

Improve the feel of your novel, its pace and shape.
This will help you meet your readers on the first page and guide them gently, swiftly or irresistibly through the entire book.
It begins with me reading your manuscript and analysing the shape of your book at the macro level.

We will have a call or email / text chat correspondence (whatever suits you) where we discuss how you’ve structured your novel and how you could improve its architecture. 

I’ll write up a list of action points within 24 hours of our call and you will also receive a digital recording of the call (if you’re happy to be recorded).

We will pass the manuscript back and forth until we’ve ensured your acts are working well, in the best proportion to one another, and providing the elements and shape of story that make for a compelling and satisfying read (based on the work of various story theorists and the criteria of your own aims).

Once your acts are in place, I will analyse your opening three chapters and provide a commentary on their internal mechanisms from a scene construction point of view.

Together, we will take three further chapters and go through them in detail, checking how the scenes are constructed and brainstorming ways to improve them.

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If you wish to continue with this scene-work, with email support until you complete a full revision of the scenework, the rate for ongoing support is £99 per month (introductory rate)

  • including comments on the text using Word’s track changes feature (or another software if you prefer),
  • with at most a 72 hour turnaround time per 3000 words (Monday to Friday).

This is quite a technical, analytical approach to revision, but the creativity it stimulates is thrilling.

Your investment: £199(introductory price) and £99/per month for ongoing support with scene work (optional, but so worth it!).

Click here to start the conversation with a simple questionnaire…

Make your story sing: tune your words to your perfect pitch

This is where we finally focus on the magic of sentences.
We will identify any unintentional stylistic elements you want to edit from your work, and distil and amplify your unique voice and message.

After an initial call or correspondence to discuss your concerns and hopes for this phase, I will work on up to 10,000 words of your work and do a line-edit using Word’s track-changes feature.

This is not a proof-read or a copyedit, but rather a hands-on literary analysis of how your language is working for or against you.

Examples of things I might focus on are: adverbs, passive-voice, cliche, dialogue, and reading level. We will discuss the changes I suggest, making sure you feel happy with my suggestions and they are in line with what you are trying to achieve.

*

If you wish to continue with this line editing, with email support until you complete a full revision, the rate is £99 per month (introductory rate) for ongoing support,

  • including comments on the text using Word’s track changes feature (or another software if you prefer),
  • with at most a 72 hour turnaround time per 3000 words (Monday to Friday).

Your investment: £199(introductory price) and £99/per month for ongoing support with line-editing (optional, but so worth it!).

Click here to start the conversation with a simple questionnaire…

Client Feedback & Testimonials

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“I came to work with you because I suppose I was not sure whether my story worked. While I’ve had a few people read it, I’ve been conscious that most of them would miss probably all of the more subtle details. Would the novel still work if they didn’t understand these things? Would they be prepared to re-read it and see what they missed? The other challenge was knowing how far I could push the unconventional ideas. Overall, I was looking for was an honest appraisal of the novel with an eye on what grabs the reader. Basically, get an idea of:

  1. What makes it good, and
  2. What’s getting in the way of it being better?

I have to admit before we started work I suppose I was a bit apprehensive that you would be recommending a wholesale restructuring. Instead I’ve come away with a very targeted set of areas to look at in terms of clarifying to the reader where their attention needs to be; the essential action, the core emotion etc. as well as equipping them to know what to look for and delivering the payoff both intellectually (the non-patronising ‘pat on the head’!) and emotionally.

I’ve tried to develop a thicker skin when it comes to even well-intentioned negative comments, it’s still hard not to get defensive but I think I’m improving. That said, you handled discussing the weaker areas in my work really well- such as the teenage voice- by coming to it from the solution of changing the time setting. Because you had obviously read the novel really closely, I didn’t feel I needed to or wanted to defend my initial decision. You understood what I was going for, and you could see how I could work around the obstacle.

From our previous literary discussions I knew I would be getting the viewpoint of someone who wouldn’t be bewildered by the referential stuff, or why I’d put it there (beyond shameless showing off, to which I plead guilty on all charges). I didn’t quite know what viewpoint you’d come from, so it was a relief when you’d sussed out the tone precisely as I’d intended it. In a lot of ways, this is my attempt to create a particular sensation that I get from my favourite fiction, films and music. From there, it meant I had confidence that any suggestion you made would be sensitive to this idea. And so it proved!

Another worry was my own over-willingness to talk at great length about the writing and how I am more than likely to amble off at a tangent or rapidly skip between ideas, which you coped with magnificently. Over the years I’ve tried to get better at detecting when my audience’s eyes are starting to glaze over, so it was a pleasure not to have to worry about it. I’d say your impressive tolerance for this is a major selling point. 

In fact, this was one of the ways you helped. You provided a sounding board where you were comfortably following complex points of plot, tone and characterisation, then feeding that back in a way that I could see for myself the significance of what I had told you.

As I’ve said above, having a clear set of targeted points to work on has been a big help, not least because I can also see where I’m going to take the sequel.

Roger Haines (Kitchen Table Session)

Click here to start the conversation with a simple questionnaire...

Client Testimonials

“George, I can’t thank you enough for the advice and support you’ve given me in redrafting the book. You’ve helped with so much, but I think the real breakthrough for me was when you helped me identify the genre more precisely. That transformed the structure and also made me see the characters more objectively. The book is so much stronger now and you’ve given me the confidence to embark on self-publishing. I would never have got there without your vision and analysis. Thanks so much.”

Sarah Haven (Kitchen Table Session and Page Turning)

Click here to start the conversation with a simple questionnaire...

Client Testimonials

“What a pleasure to work with George. If you’re a writer currently sharing your work with only a trusted few, or if you’ve had the misfortune of being truncated and twisted by an over-subscribed, inattentive editor, then I highly recommend you get in touch with George. I found my initial concerns (would I be patronised? Bamboozled? Sent on a goose chase?) totally disproved. Instead I was listened to, encouraged, and was soon working with renewed clarity and belief, followed by a success I hadn’t dared hope for. Whilst George is hugely likeable she’s not afraid to be critical, but manages this in the most polite way ever, matched with knowledge and experience you’d do well to heed. She’s really rather impressive -don’t hesitate!”

Jay (one on one coaching)
Click here to start the conversation with a simple questionnaire...

Make your story sing: Craft a marketable book without second-guessing yourself.

  • Bringing words of encouragement and craft to your inbox every other Sunday.
  • Lifting you up and nurturing your self-trust as a writer.
  • Keeping you informed about how I could work with you, and any special opportunities,
  • Giving you direct access to my free office hour, to use however you like (run something past me, ask a bit more about what I do, tell me about your book, anything).

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