Non-Fiction Manuscripts

 

I have extensive experience with a diverse range of non-fiction genres and have edited everything from self-help books to personal memoirs. I love working with writers transforming their excellent ideas into polished prose, and have a knack for finding the right turn of phrase when and where it’s needed. But I don’t just offer mechanical edits and correct your spelling—most of all I help you find the right voice to reach your audience.

 
 

 

BOOK SAMPLE BEFORE EDITS

You’ve probably heard of the curious fact about the two hemispheres of the brain. The left half controls the physical movements of the right side of our bodies, and the right hemisphere controls the left side. While most people find this to be an interesting but rather useless bit of trivia, there is a far more fascinating aspect of related research regarding how and why people think the way they do. Individuals tend to be either left or right-brain dominant in their mental thought processes. Although neurologists remind us that this general rule of brain thought orientation does not always apply, it has been documented in a healthy brain the basic alignment of a person’s thoughts can be measured as originating from either the right or left side.

The theory is not without its detractors, but research does indicate that thoughts originating from the left hemisphere are generally grounded in reason, strategy, mathematics, control, and analysis; while those from the right are based on imagination, creativity, happiness, freedom, and emotion. The way one thinks manifests itself as characteristically unique to the individual, which is reflected in their lifestyle choices. Even their choice of pet or interaction with that pet, reflect their general brain orientation. A person who has trained a well-behaved dog is more likely to be a left-brainer than one who dresses their dog in a costume for Halloween, clearly a right brain characteristic. Without intent to act otherwise, we all operate within our natural comfort zones.

BOOK SAMPLE AFTER EDITS

You’ve probably heard the curious fact about the cross-wiring of the two hemispheres of the brain. The left half controls the physical movements of the right side of our bodies, and the right hemisphere is in charge of the left side. While most people find this to be an interesting but rather useless bit of trivia, there are related research studies that illustrate far more important insights into how and why people think the way they do. Individuals tend to be either left or right-brain dominant in their mental thought processes. Although neurologists remind us that this general rule of brain-thought orientation does not always apply, it has been documented in healthy brains that the basic alignment of a person’s thoughts can be measured as originating from either the right or left hemispheres.

The theory is not without its detractors, but research suggests that thoughts originating from the left hemisphere are generally grounded in reason, strategy, mathematics, control, and analysis, while ideas bubbling up from the right side are based on imagination, creativity, happiness, freedom, and emotion. The way one thinks is unique to the individual, which is reflected in their personality and actions. Even their choice of (and interactions with) a pet reflects their general brain orientation. A person who has a well-behaved trained dog is more likely to be a left-brainer than one who dresses their dog in a costume for Halloween (clearly a right brain characteristic). Without intending to act a certain way, we all operate within the outlook dictated by our brain orientation.

I truly loved your edits to my manuscript—they transformed my initial efforts into a final draft that captured what I was trying to say all along.
— Alexander J.

Ghostwriting Sample

Remington, “Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill”

Remington, “Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill”

From its humble beginnings crossing the Atlantic in 1492, Spain’s empire had grown rapidly over the next two centuries to span the globe, only to be forced into a steady and ignoble retreat. By the late 1800s all that was left of its once extensive possessions were Cuba and Puerto Rico, a smattering of small islands dotting the vast Pacific Ocean, and the Philippines. Yet even these colonies were threatening to slip from Spain’s grasp: guerilla fighters were fighting for independence in both Cuba and the Philippines, and things had gotten so bad that Spain granted Puerto Rico limited political autonomy rather than fight there.

In other words, the conditions were just right for America to flex its foreign policy muscles for the first time—all that was needed was a reason to act. Spain happily obliged; they attempted to stem the internal revolt in Cuba—a short 90 miles from Florida—by implementing a “re-concentration” policy that moved the native population inland and placed it under martial law. When news reached America of Spain’s actions, Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal competed to provide the most sensational coverage of the “atrocities” underway on the island. Hearst sent the noted artist Frederick Remington to record what was happening in Cuba and share it with his newspaper’s readers. There was only one problem: “There is no war,” Remington wrote to Hearst—“Request to be recalled.” Hearst cynically replied: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.”

I didn’t realize till I saw your suggestions just how valuable a good editor is to a writer. You kept my voice intact yet enriched my prose considerably.
— Janice R.

Book Summary Before revisions

Bryson begins his journey in his hometown of Hanover, New Hampshire by going to a sporting goods store and buying a plethora of hiking gear. Though he has no real idea what much of the gear is for, Bryson plans to actually hike the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, which is 2,200 miles. He will begin at Springer Mountain, located in Georgia, and then end at Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Accompanying him for most of the journey is Bryson’s friend, Stephen Katz, who is just as unprepared as Bryson is, highlighted by his arrival with a duffel bag full of Snickers and his being out of shape.

The two begin at Amicalola Falls, which is about seven miles from Springer Mountain. Though they are in good spirits, the two friends soon realize that they are perhaps in over their heads. For starters, they begin the trek on a cold day in March. Also, they are undeniably out of shape yet carrying forty-pound packs on their backs. Though things seem disparaging at first, they eventually find a groove in the previously perilous hike and continue on. Bryson comments on how they are able to meet various types of hikers along the trail, including Boy Scouts, seniors and students. One fellow hiker, Mary Ellen, who is described as less-than-bright, actually stays with the duo along the course of a few days.

A snow front almost strands them early on, leaving them in the boring comfort of motel rooms and bunkhouses. After a few days, however, they are able to reach the Smokey Mountains, which actually turns out to be more difficult than their earlier hike through Georgia. After a strenuous hike, they eventually make it to Clingman’s Dome, a noted landmark which is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail. While on vacation in Tennessee to celebrate their accomplishment, the pair decide to skip the rest of the Smokey Mountains. Instead, they drive to Roanoke, Virginia, which is a flatter trail…

Book Summary After revisions

Bryson’s saga begins in his hometown of Hanover, New Hampshire with him in a sporting goods store buying every imaginable kind of hiking gear (though he has no idea what most of it is for).  His plan is to hike the entire 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail, starting at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ending at Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Accompanying him for most of the journey is his friend Stephen Katz, who is even more out of shape and unprepared than Bryson—highlighted by his arriving with a duffel bag full of Snickers.

Though they begin their hike in good spirits, the two friends soon realize that they are in over their heads. They unwisely start the trek on a cold day in March and struggle with carrying forty-pound packs on their backs.  Though things seem disheartening at first, they eventually find their footing and soldier on. Bryson offers witty observations about the different kinds of hikers they encounter along the trail, including Boy Scouts, seniors and students. One fellow hiker, Mary Ellen, who is described in less than glowing terms, even teams up with the duo for a few days.

The trials and travails of each step of the journey are vividly captured by Bryson’s narrative.  A snowstorm strands them early on, forcing them to retreat to the safe but boring confines of motel rooms and bunkhouses. The front passes and they are able to resume their trek, only to encounter the Smokey Mountains, which turn out to be even more challenging than the first summit they faced when they began. After several strenuous days of hiking they eventually reach Clingman’s Dome—a famous landmark and the highest point on the Appalachian Trail. While on a brief vacation in Tennessee to celebrate, the pair decide to skip the rest of the Smokies and instead jump ahead to the flatter terrain of Roanoke, Virginia…