Developmental Editing

fiction editing

Developmental editing & book coaching for fiction writers

I have an M.F.A. in fiction writing from George Mason University; I’m the former fiction editor of national journals So to Speak and The William and Mary Review; and I’m a novelist myself. I can help you take your novel, story collection, or memoir to the next level. Whether you need a developmental edit of your manuscript, a critique or reader’s review of your book, or regular book coaching sessions to help you through the drafting or revision process, I’m eager to learn about your work.

I enjoy digging deep into a manuscript, finding out what works, what doesn’t, and how I can help you achieve your vision. I’ll work with you to determine how much editing you need, what issues to address, and make sure we’re on the same page about the overall plan. It’s your book and your voice—as an editor my goal is not to turn you into someone else, but to help you be the best you.

Testimonials from developmental editing clients:

“I read many books about plot structure and writing a good story in my attempts to fix what ailed my manuscript, but none of them came close to Norah’s step by step guide specific to my manuscript. Like a well-written plot, again and again her advice both surprised me and felt like the inevitable solution. She dove deeply into the world I had created and emerged believing in it, encouraging me, and also clearly showing me how to make it a more meaningful and engaging experience for future readers. After spinning my wheels for over a year, not knowing how to move forward, I was hopeful and excited to dive back into my work.” 

“This line Norah wrote, in her developmental edit of my first novel, stuck with me and will throughout my writing career (as long as it lasts)—“You’ve written a book!” I was over the moon. However, I knew what was coming, and in good editor form on the next line, and one I’ve come to expect from Norah was, “Now we’ve got some work to do.” And work we did. She took my disjointed story and gave me the good along with the “work.”  She helped me solidify around a few of the characters and their POV’s instead of the 15 or so that I had (I know that’s crazy time), and really dig into them.  Norah helped me with what was important to the story and it’s now a different book from when I started it, and so much better for it. Above all, Norah is just a very positive editor.  Her mission was to help me make this story, my word baby, the best it could possibly be. For a new writer with a first novel, that was worth its weight in gold.  I couldn’t recommend Norah enough for either seasoned, or specifically, new writers just beginning their journey.  She was invaluable to me and will be my first stop with the sequel. "