There are many different types of books waiting to be read.
Some are instructional, and provide us with information on how to do something.
Others are theoretical, and seek to teach us about an idea or concept.
One of the most common functions of books, though, is to entertain.
Though instructional and theoretical books can of course be entertaining, it’s when we pick up a narrative book like a novel or memoir that we seek entertainment purely for the sake of itself. Whether through books, TV, movies, or live performances, each of us has a long history with stories and the joy they can help us find in our lives. While books committed to providing information can be valuable simply because of the nature of the ideas they present, novels and memoirs will only ever be valuable if the story itself is engaging, absorbing, and full of exciting possibilities. A narrative work is only as valuable as it is entertaining to the reader.
You may have written a narrative book you are eager to share with others. Perhaps you plan to submit it to literary agents and publishers for consideration, publish it yourself, or even have a deal with a publisher and would simply like another pair of eyes to look at it. Regardless of your specific circumstances and goals, your ultimate goal is to entertain your readers and serve their experience as their storyteller in any way you can. This means structuring your story in a way that provides your characters with meaningful goals and obstacles, capturing the voices of your characters so that their struggles resonate with your readers, and generally ensuring that the reader gets everything they can out of spending time with the world you’ve created.
The deliberate, involved nature of writing a story requires both emotional investment and objective scrutiny. You undoubtedly have abundant amounts of the former—an ideal editor will provide you with just as much of the latter.
When finding an editor who will both take your work seriously and serve the needs of your characters, be sure to ask them how they might go about providing you with feedback on your manuscript. When I work on a client’s novel or memoir, I will usually read the manuscript once, provide a general overview of the editorial direction I will take it in through my feedback, and then read it a second time as I write the letter that forms the basis of how I convey my feedback. Contact me to learn more about how I might be of service to you as you work to get your story to jump off of the page.