I write and speak about people, peace, social justice, environment, and travel adventure as well as for entertainment.
I relate stories of people who are doing much to improve the world.
I also help others communicate their stories, playing the role of editor, coach, and/or ghostwriter.
As a writer and an editor, I’ve learned much over the years about manuscript development for both fiction and nonfiction.
In my early days of creative writing, I belonged to an excellent critique group of six writers. When we came together, one of us had been published. Within three years, all of us had experienced the joy of seeing our work in print.
From these colleagues, I learned to throw away paragraphs that didn’t advance the story. I became aware that my opening sentences served as a warmup, as though I were a pianist running through the scales before flowing into melody and harmony.
As an editor, I’ve carried those lessons from my own writing and the advice of my peers into the work I do for my author clients.
Some manuscripts come to me well-crafted while some are not yet ready for the public eye.
As with the six of us in that critique group—a poet, a mystery writer, a collegiate English instructor, a chronicler, a humorist, and a journalist—diversity prevails among the authors whose books I edit.
Some clients are internationally known experts in their field. Others have written little but have an idea that compels them into new territory. Thus, I advise as well as edit.
At the outset of each project, I use margin notes to explain my suggested changes. Some authors appreciate that learning process. Some authors simply say, “Fix it.” Sometimes an author responds with further information that helps me better honor and retain the writer’s voice and style.
As the great diversity of literature illustrates, there really is no right or wrong way to write. But there are some generally practiced rules. Click on the image icons on this page to harvest a few tips.
Better yet, contact me. Let’s talk so we can both learn more about your writing project and how we can work together to make it sing.
Read foundational questions that every writer must ask
Tasmania, Australia: towering cliffs on the rugged Southern Ocean shore
The cost of your brother
Read how improper sentence structure can obscure your message
Honopu Ridge, Kauai, Hawaii: lush vegetation and gorgeous natural flowers
A person is not a thing
Read about proper usage of “who” and “that”
Pamakale, Turkey: limestone deposits from hot mineral springs form ever-changing travertines
Which is which and that is that
Read about proper usage of “which” and “that”
Grand Canyon, USA: grandeur and depth visible from the Southern Rim
Read about proper use of commas
Panglao Island, Philippines: a mother tree and offspring in shallows of the Pacific Ocean
What readers want to know
Read about who, what, where, when, why, and how
Indian Himalayas: a cluster of dhabas and sheds among rugged peaks along the Leh-Manali Highway
Did I write this already?
Read about repeating your point without being redundant
Kentucky, USA: dry chestnut pods
Am I covering the subject or causing confusion?
Read about how to tell all with clarity
Michigan, USA: sunlight shining on a rainbow of swamp gas residue
Where should I put this word?
Read about using the proper words in the proper order
Cape Tribulation, Australia: the expansive and isolated beach in Australia’s tropical north
Contact me to learn more about my coaching and editing services
Michigan, USA: sunset on Lake Michigan, Robert’s favorite water body