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Syncretic Edits

COLLABORATIVE - THOROUGH - KIND

Welcome, Author!

Whether you’re looking for an analysis to get you on the right track, an in-depth edit, or a final polish, together we will take your story across the finish line.

 

Why Syncretic?

Syncretism is the blending of beliefs or schools of thought, an central tenet in how I approach editing. My background is varied: editing, history, tech work, and I read across all genres. I believe a variable approach allows me to meet each text where it is and help its author achieve their goal end result. Whether that means realizing a highly specific personal vision, adapting the text for the traditional publishing market, or something else altogether, my collaborative, comprehensive approach will get you there.

Unofficially, I've always been editing, as every time a paper was due in class - from middle school all the way through college - I was the one who everyone asked for those last-minute-panic-edits. I'm pleased to say that I now raise my clients' chances at landing an agent as consistently as I was raising classmates' grades back in the day. Officially, I have been editing professionally for the last five years, working with authors seeking self, indie, and mainstream publication.

I believe that editing, whether it be self-editing, by a professional, by a friend, is as fundamental to the writing process as the act of writing itself. My goal is always to help you in telling the story you want to tell - in bridging that oft-yawning gap between What You're Trying to Say and What is Said. Whether I'm coming in at the end of your project, or iteratively working through it with you from the start, I always seek to gain a deep understanding of your work and your goals. 

Services

Manuscript Critique

In a manuscript critique, I play the role of your “first reader”. When you send your manuscript, indicate if there are particular areas you would like me to consider. Beyond that, I read your work and provide a feedback document of three or more pages in which I answer:

  1. Is your plot coherent and well-paced?

  2. Are your characters well-developed and consistent? Do their arcs build believably with the story?

  3. Is the setting engaging?

  4. If you are trying to communicate certain themes and ideas, do they come through? Are they supported by or contradictory to the narrative?

  5. Do the elements of your story work together to tell a more complete story, or are there areas where they drift or flounder?

 

This document can be used as a tool to assist with your own self-editing process, a way to help re-invigorate a manuscript if you get stuck, or a way to help identify your own strengths and weaknesses as a writer to help hone your skills.

Developmental Edit

 

A developmental edit takes your piece as a whole, breaks it down to its major parts, and figures out how to make those parts work to best achieve your story goal. I’ll review your manuscript and provide you with in-text annotations as well as a supplementary, typically lengthy, document outlining my advice for revisions and improvements. As I believe that author-editor interaction is vital for this process, a one hour meeting is included with all developmental edits. Additional time can be booked as needed or desired.

This edit essentially takes a deep-dive into your story’s structure, your characters’ motivations and actualization, your setting’s worldbuilding and service to the plot, the impact of your themes, and the effectiveness of your story. Developmental editing can be done in chunks as a story progresses, once a work is completed through a single or several sessions, or some method in between tailored to suit your work’s needs. It is by far the most intensive of all the edits, and in many ways, the most exciting!

Line Edit

 

A line edit looks more directly at the language and sentence structure throughout your piece. Line editing and copy editing are probably what most people think of when they think “editing”.

A line edit looks at your word choice, catches anachronisms, ensures consistency in tone, voice, point of view, tense, and more. It clarifies cluttered or confusing paragraphs and pages and includes my recommended re-writes for lines and phrases.

For many writers, this is the only outside edit they will receive (besides a copy edit/proofread) before they send their work off to an agent or pursue self-publication. While I think developmental edits can be some of the most fun an author and editor can have working on a piece, a line edit has its own excitement. This is about scrubbing the grime off the page and uncovering those lines a character will say once but readers will quote forever.

As I do not currently offer distinct copy-editing services; I try to ensure that my line edit leaves little for your future copy editor to clean up down the road.

Testimonials

“Thanks to Eben’s insightful story suggestions, numerous line edits, and rigorously intelligent feedback, I was able to land my story collection with a respected press in my genre. I could not have done it without his clear editorial sense and his empathetic understanding of my storytelling goals. He is a fine editor who helped me become a much better writer.”

-Christopher Clark, Voices at Midnight

“I send a major thanks to Eben Lee Thomas. His interest in the manuscript, numerous thoughts, and insightful commentary helped make the project a reality.”

-Dr. Alexandra Gonzenbach Perkins, Representing Queer and Transgender Identity: Fluid Bodies in the Hispanic Caribbean and Beyond

Rates

While editing used to be the realm of publishing houses, nowadays an author seeking any publication path is likely going to need to hire their own editor.

It is important to me to make my services affordable and accessible to authors at every stage. My services are adaptable to most budgets - please let me know if you have a particular amount in mind, certain budgetary restraints, or anything else that may have kept you from pursuing professional services in the past.

You can reach me at ebenthomasedits@gmail.com or through the form below. Please include a short summary of the text and your current word count when submitting. Thanks!

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