Substantive and Developmental Editing

Make Your Writing Structurally Sound and Flowing

“Bruce was very helpful. He helped me tighten my work and organize it effectively. He helped me work stories until they captured what I was trying to share. He wasn’t a know-it-all or a too-nice-to-really-help type. He was gentle but firm, sympathetic to my vision and always supportive of me and my vision.”

S.D. Ciscneros, Victoria, BC

Substantive Editing For Coherence and Impact

Structural Help With Specific Writing Projects

“Structure” relates to the way pieces and parts are put together.

A box of bicycle parts is a heap, not a whole. It’s not rideable until the parts are arranged in the most effective way.

Often, a manuscript will have all the parts and pieces, but they’re not organized for clarity, flow and impact.

So the piece ends up looking like a heap — reading like a collection of unrelated bits.

Developmental editing with an experienced freelance editor can help you change a heap into a whole.

“Recently I was working on a non-fiction book called Running Toward Stillness. It is a deeply personal account of depression, life changes, and recovery, and I was looking for people I could trust who would provide feedback. By his comments, it was clear that Bruce not only read the work cover to cover, but spent a great deal of time composing his thoughtful and gracious reply. He provided help on two levels: first, conceptually he was able to provide specific feedback on how to better structure the book and its contents. Second, he was able to point out where certain passages and chapters needed to be strengthened. Bruce’s feedback almost certainly made the book a stronger work of non-fiction. I’m grateful for his mentorship and editing skills.”

 Stephen Legault, Author: Running Toward Stillness and 3 Mystery Series’

How Can I Help?

Starting where you are, and honouring where you want to go, I can help you make your work structurally sound.

I can help you clarify writing goals, develop material, enhance structure, and complete story, essay and book manuscripts that are agent and editor ready.

I can help you make your writing so it pulls your reader into the world you most want to create for them.

“As a freelance writer, it’s often tricky to find a trusted resource to provide informed critique of a work-in-progress. For a recent literary project, I relied on Bruce as a sounding board when it came to creative strategy (helping me to stay on track) and narrative review. His feedback was direct, always with the health of the project in mind and a knack for challenging the contours of what it might be. A rare kind of insight from a writer/editor who has been there and who understands all that is at stake.”

Sarah Pollard, Writer and Communications Strategist

Sympathetic Yet Honest Coaching

I’m not heavy-handed. I don’t tell you what to do. I work with you and with your vision of your piece.

My job is to honour your work and help you make the reality of your piece match your vision of it.

Together, we work on your piece until it sings — until it’s the best you can make it.

“Bruce helped me with my manuscript in important ways. He understood the essence of the MS and gave me feedback simpatico with what the work already was. Through this process he was able to deepen the beauty of the book by nurturing what it needed rather than what he “Thought” it needed. I think this is the foundational element of a good coach. 

“A coach is a person that sees the potential and works with what already exists. I never felt he spoke from an out-of-synch place, but from a place that honoured and deepened my vision. Bruce has a gift when it comes to coaching, but as a writing coach he is inspired.”

Ken Wylie, Author of BURIED

Would You Like More Info About Substantive Editing?

I offer a free 45-minute chat to help us both see if there is a fit between your needs and what I can do for you.

Send me an e-mail and request a chat. And let’s see if there’s a fit.

Free coaching info package and chat: E-mail me with “Structural Editing” as subject.

Books by Bruce Elkin

Thrive! Creating what matters most, by Bruce Elkin.
Simplicity and Success, by Bruce Elkin.
Emotional Mastery, by Bruce Elkin.
Creating Sustainable Success, by Bruce Elkin.
The ABCs of Emotional Mastery, by Bruce Elkin.