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 fast-paced, popular fiction.
I’m the award-winning author of three editor’s guides to writing compelling fiction, Captivate Your Readers, Fire up Your Fiction, and Writing a Killer Thriller, all available everywhere in print and e-book.
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’ve also compiled and edited two anthologies for charity, Voices from the Valleys – Stories & Poems about Life in BC’s Interior, with proceeds to Doctors Without Borders, and Childhood Regained – Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers, out May 10, 2016. These anthologies are both available in trade paperback and e-book form.
Captivate Your Readers, released in 2015, 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. This book has won several awards, including a Silver Medal in the Florida Authors & Publishers Book Awards for 2015.
Fire up Your Fiction (formerly titled Style That Sizzles & Pacing for Power) will help you focus and tighten your fiction to appeal to today’s readers. It has received two Silver Medals and an Honorable Mention from Writer’s Digest.
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, or check out Jodie’s Amazon Author Page. Also, join me on Facebook and Twitter.
I also judge short stories for contests and 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 http://www.jodierenner.com/workshops/ for a list of topics of workshops I present, as well as reviews by attendees.
Downsizing to shorter fiction: As of March 2016, I’m no longer editing lengthy novels for new clients. I’ll be honoring agreements with authors whose previous novels I’ve edited, and will continue to offer detailed critiques and edits of up to 50 pages (up to the first 12,500 words) of a novel, and will also continue to edit short stories and novellas.
What I continue to focus on: If you’re looking for someone to help you create an intriguing, engaging opening, bring your characters and scenes to life, 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 thorough edit and critique of your first 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 pages, double-spaced, at 2.5 to 5 cents per word, depending on the amount of work the manuscript needs to sell well to today’s readers. So for advice on your short synopsis plus an edit and critique of the first 10 pages (2500 words), it would be around $63 – $125; for 20 pages (5,000 words), it would come to about $125 to $250; and for 30 pages (7,500 words), about $188 to $375. This includes two detailed passes, with a chance for revisions by you in between, based on my initial suggestions during the first pass. After that, I’ll go through it quickly a few more times, looking for clearly indicated changes. This detailed edit and critique, and your subsequent revisions, could easily save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the whole editing process.
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 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 all three of my popular craft-of-writing guides in the series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: Captivate Your Readers, Fire up Your Fiction, and Writing a Killer Thriller, all available in e-book or trade paperback. They’re only $3.50 each for the e-books, or $11.95 for the trade paperbacks. Reader-friendly and designed for busy writers, they’re highly skimmable and full of clear, concise, valuable advice for writing compelling fiction. And they’ll easily save you hundreds of dollars on editing fees. Seriously.
Also, you don’t need a Kindle to read the e-versions — you can upload and read them on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
“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 our group blog, 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 more information about Jodie, visit the About Jodie page.
Let’s work together to enhance and empower your writing — and get your book published!
Some of the many books I’ve edited. See the Testimonials page for more.
I had the privilege of being interviewed in Southern Writers Magazine for their Sept./Oct. 2013 issue.