Let’s take your fiction to the next level!
Welcome to the cyber-home of Jodie Renner, independent editor, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of popular craft-of-fiction guides and e-resources. I specialize in editing thrillers and other fast-paced, suspenseful fiction.
My craft-of-writing blog posts appear alternate Mondays on the award-winning blog, The Kill Zone, on Fiction University the first Thursday of the month (and on Crime Fiction Collective, April 2011 to Apr. 2014), and occasionally my own blog, Resources for Writers, as well as, less frequently, various other blogs for writers.
I’m the award-winning author of three editor’s guides to writing compelling fiction. Fire up Your Fiction (formerly titled Style That Sizzles & Pacing for Power), has received two Silver Medals and an Honorable Mention from Writer’s Digest, and is a finalist for several more book awards.
My other guide for adding tension, suspense & intrigue to your stories is the popular Writing a Killer Thriller. And the third book in the series, Captivate Your Readers, just out, is all about engaging readers through techniques like deep point of view, showing instead of telling, avoiding author intrusions, and generally letting the characters drive the story.
Also, look for my handy, time-saving, clickable e-resources, QUICK CLICKS: WORD USAGE – Precise Word Choices at Your Fingertips and QUICK CLICKS: SPELLING LIST – Commonly Misspelled Words at Your Fingertips, , which you can read on your e-reader, computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can also purchase the clickable PDF version for $2.99 (or both for $4.99) by contacting Jodie at info@JodieRenner.com.
I also present online webinars and in-person workshops to writers’ groups and at writers’ conferences on various techniques for writing compelling fiction, as well as tips for editing and publishing your own book. If you’re looking for a dynamic, knowledgeable speaker for your writers’ group or conference, please visit the workshops page here or http://www.jodierenner.com/workshops/ for a list of topics of workshops I present, as well as glowing reviews by attendees.
To find out more about my published and upcoming books and my presentations, please click on this link to go to Jodie’s author website.
Note: Jodie is not accepting new clients until late May 2015, and preference will be given to short stories, initial critiques of up to 50 pages, and novellas.
If you’re looking for someone to help you bring your characters and scenes to life on the page, add more tension, suspense and intrigue, pick up the pace, smooth out your prose, and tighten up your writing, you’ve come to the right place!
Not only that, I’ll address any “head-hopping” and other point-of-view issues, point out too much “telling” where there should be “showing” in real time, flag any plot holes, consider character motivations and decisions, alert you of any time-sequence discrepancies, and ferret out those lurking logistic issues you may not have noticed as you were busy crafting your story.
And finally, I’ll go over your manuscript with a fine-toothed comb to check for logical sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.
“Jodie Renner is the real deal. In a world awash with sketchy advice for writers, Jodie cuts through the darkness with the piercing light of her expertise. Her editing, advice, and suggested revisions are concrete, practical, and produce compelling prose. Jodie skillfully helped me navigate from the shores of my nonfiction through the treacherous waters of thriller writing. She helped me take a manuscript that was not ‘there’ yet to one that was. I feel fortunate to have found her and look forward to working with her on my next project.”
- Peter Eichstaedt, Sept. 19, 2014, journalist and author of thriller, Borderland. www.petereichstaedt.com
Scroll down to see a list of issues I look at in fiction manuscripts.
Initial critiques: If I don’t have time to edit your whole manuscript or you can’t afford to get the whole thing edited by a professional like me, you can opt for my brief critique of your plot/synopsis as well as a thorough edit and critique of your first 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 pages, double-spaced, at 2.5 to 3 cents per word. So for 10 pages, that would be around $63 – $75; for 20 pages, it would come to about $125 to $150. This includes two passes, with a chance for revisions by you in between, based on my initial suggestions during the first pass. This detailed edit and critique could easily save you hundreds of dollars on the editing process, with me or another editor. And the last thing you want to do is pay for a light copy edit of a manuscript that needs major work first, as that’s just money down the drain, since many of the chapters you’re paying to be edited may need to be condensed, radically revised or even deleted.
For information on how I work, and a detailed description of each editorial option with my fees, please visit the Services page.
Are you new to writing fiction and want to produce a book that sells, while saving money on editing?
If you’re an aspiring author and want to bring your manuscript up to industry standards, to sell well and garner lots of 5-star reviews, but don’t have a lot of money to spend on the editing process, I highly recommend you first read my blog posts, “Revise for Success - A Stress-Free, Concrete Plan of Action for Revising, Editing, and Polishing Your Novel,” “How to Save a Bundle on Editing Costs,” ”Honing Your Craft,” and “How to Slash Your Word Count by 20-40%.”
Then, I highly recommend one or both of my popular craft-of-writing guides in the series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: Fire up Your Fiction, in e-book or trade paperback, and Writing a Killer Thriller, in e-book or trade paperback. They’re only $3.50 each for the e-books, or $11.95 for the trade paperbacks. They’re both highly skimmable and chock-full of to-the-point valuable advice for writing compelling fiction. And they’ll easily save you hundreds of dollars on editing fees.
Also, you don’t need a Kindle to read e-books – you can upload and read them on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
And I’m much more likely to accept you as a client if you’ve read one of my books, especially Fire up Your Fiction, as then I’ll know that you’ll “get” my suggestions, and we’ll both be on the same page, so the editing process will be much more efficient and smoother.
“Jodie Renner is a 5-star thriller editor with the eye of an eagle and the skill of a surgeon. She goes beyond copy and line editing to target even the most elusive content issues. A pleasure to work with—highly recommended.”
~ Lynn Sholes & Joe Moore, Dec. 2012, #1 Amazon and international bestselling authors of The Phoenix Apostles and The Grail Conspiracy
“Jodie Renner is the best editor you can hope for, because she pours her heart and soul into each project. […] with Jodie, weeding out typos, grammatical oversights, and clunky writing is just a small part of her work. She’s a seasoned industry guru who will address both language and content issues to get your mystery, thriller, action, or espionage manuscript up to a publishable standard.
“Jodie will pore over every detail of your writing to transform it into a world-class novel that will sell. She will challenge every logical flaw and plot inconsistency in your story to ensure nothing comes in the way of your readers’ suspension of disbelief. She will nip any literary arrogance or showy ambiguity in the bud. Most importantly, Jodie will provide you with the viewpoint of most contemporary readers.”
~ A.M. Khalifa, author of thriller Terminal Rage, Los Angeles, CA, February 2013
For Jodie’s popular craft of fiction e-books, go to Jodie’s Books.
Why pay for a freelance editor, anyway?
Here’s what Andrew E. Kaufman, talented thriller novelist and fellow founder of Crime Fiction Collective, has to say about the importance of using the services of an editor:
This is an extremely important point and one I can’t stress enough. It doesn’t matter how good a writer you think you are. After numerous rewrites of a manuscript (which is just as important), you are too familiar with your work and have lost all objectivity.
An editor with a fresh and critical eye will bring things to your attention you never knew existed, both developmentally and in the line/copy editing. These are the people who will help bring a novel to the next level. I consider their work to be an invaluable part of the process.
And for those who say they can’t afford to hire one–I say you can’t afford not to. If you’re serious about selling your book, then this is a step you simply must take.
~ Andrew E. Kaufman, Sept. 30, 2011. www.AndrewEKaufman.com
EXCERPTS FROM TESTIMONIALS JODIE HAS RECEIVED FROM VERY SATISFIED WRITER CLIENTS:
WHAT I LOOK AT:
Here are a few of the many issues I look at and advise on in all my fiction editing:
Is the first page compelling? Does it hook the reader in quickly? Does it introduce your protagonist? Does it situate the reader as to Who, What, Where and When, so they can quickly get into your story world and start enjoying your story?
Is your protagonist likeable, smart, resourceful, and strong enough to appeal to your readers, but with vulnerabilities and inner conflict? Are your main characters complex and three-dimensional, or flat and predictable, cardboard cutouts? Do your characters develop through the course of the novel? (Is there a good character arc?) Are their motivations clear and plausible?
Point of view:
Is most of your story anchored in the viewpoint of your protagonist? Is each scene in one character’s point of view? Or is the viewpoint hovering above or ping-ponging among your characters, all in one scene (“head-hopping”)?
Plot and Scene Structure:
Do you have an inciting incident and a main story problem/question? Is there enough conflict? Do you have tension on every page, with rising stakes and ongoing complications? Are the scenes well-written and well-structured? Is the climax nail-biting? Is the ending satisfying? Do you have plot holes that need to be identified and plugged? Are there inconsistencies, discrepancies, or illogical actions or events that need to be addressed?
Style and Pacing:
Does your prose meander along, trying to find its way? Is it awkward, too wordy, or overly erudite? Or is it clear, tight and compelling? Does your pacing fit the genre? Do you vary the pace, depending on the scene?
Does it sound natural, like people in that milieu really talk? Does each character speak a little differently? Or do your characters all sound like the author or university professors?
Logic and continuity:
Do you have sudden unexplained changes or discrepancies in characters, time sequences, and other circumstances? Do all the plot details make sense? Are your characters’ actions and reactions logical and believable?
Grammar, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, spelling, and typos.
I’ll help you smooth out awkward or overly wordy phrasing to create a better flow of ideas. I’ll add the final polish to make your story publish-ready. I’ve been called “a precise grammar queen.” I know my stuff, but won’t let correct English trump your style or voice – this is fiction, after all, not a doctoral dissertation!
Please click here to read testimonials from authors on my editing and critiques. For excerpts from Acknowledgments in published books, click here. For excerpts from emails Jodie has received or mention on Facebook or blogs, click here.
For tips on taking your fiction to the next level, as well as useful links, see my Resources page.
For the answers to a number of questions you may have, please read the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and answers on the Contact page, below the Contact Form.
For more information about Jodie, visit the About Jodie page.
Let’s work together to enhance and empower your writing — and get your book published!
I’m a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Federation of BC Writers.
I had the privilege of being interviewed in Southern Writers Magazine for their Sept./Oct. 2013 issue.