I define “publishing” in the broadest possible sense: the act of connecting any creative work to its public. And while I love traditional books and will happily assist authors and publishing companies with them, I’m also fascinated by other ways to present stories: e-books, hybrids of movies and prose, hypertext experiments, virtual reality, and more.
The development services are broad: I want to help creators of all sorts find the best form for their work, then work with them on the structure, narrative and language of that particular form–even if we have to invent it as we go. The goal is always to help a work become the best possible version of itself.
I’m not a copy editor. There are many great copy editors who can finesse writing on a line level. I prefer to work with creators on the overall form of their work–whatever that work may be.
Developmental Editing: The Maltese Falcon
As an editor, I plunge into the overall structure of a large story and help writers to see their own world more clearly. This sort of work is of course confidential, but to demonstrate what’s possible, here’s a developmental edit note for the novel The Maltese Falcon. (I’m hoping that Dashiell Hammett won’t object, being dead and all. It’s one of my favorite books, but it was exciting to think about ways in which it could be different.)
Exploration of Form
Sometimes the right form for a project is something unconventional. In the case of an overview of detective novel covers from 1840-1930, I wanted something tactile that evoked the fun spirit of the novels. The approach I used was a collection of trading cards, with a small hand-bound booklet that described their history: