I would like to acknowledge the professional editing help of Los Angeles writer/editor Brooke Wolff. I sent Brooke the entire manuscript of my pirate novel a month ago. Two weeks later she had finished the edit and returned it to me with enough red marks to keep me from making a fool of myself when I send the manuscript out to agents and publishers. In addition we had a ninety minute phone call to discuss certain aspects of character development, continuity and most especially how to more finely tune the book to my audience. Brooke felt the two main characters need to be two years older.
She was absolutely right. The story began as a middle grade novel. As I wrote, however, it morphed toward being young adult. What had happened was the characters began to act more maturely due to the circumstances of being with two boys their age on a pirate ship 300 years from home. At this point I could have stopped my forward progress and gone back to the beginning. But on the advice of experience, I worried I would lose momentum and possibly even the heart to finish it. So I kept going.
When Brooke read the completed manuscript, she directed me to push the main characters’ age from twelve and thirteen to fourteen and fifteen. Even though I already felt she was right, I resisted a bit because I didn’t want the characters to be too mature. They weren’t women after all. Brooke wisely pointed out that I just needed to give voice to the girls’ feelings as young teenagers.
She was completely right, and I did as I was told. The result is that the manuscript contains a modest amount of romance appropriate to the characters’ age and experience.
Any one who needs an editor – and you know who you are – should get in touch with her by Googling “Brooke Wolff Los Angeles” which leads to her Linked-in page. .
To give you an idea of how respected Brooke is let me recall an experience I had some years ago.
I needed an agent for a screenplay of mine called Stealing Apollo. (See previous post.) Brooke graciously gave me an introduction to hers. A month later I visited the agent in her offices in the snazziest part of Beverly Hills. I had to wait for 30 minutes to see her, which was no surprise as I had arrived unannounced. When she met me, the agent shook my hand and told me, with a broad smile, how much she respected Brooke’s writing ability. The agent then apologized for making me wait. She had been on the phone with David Mamet. Those two statements linked together say all that needs to be said about Brooke’s talent.
Here is a blurb from her Linked-In page describing the breadth of her skill set:
Specialties:Writing screenplays and teleplays; performing standup comedy and improvisation; voiceovers; writing, producing and directing of commercials, training films, videos, and radio plays; editing and proofreading; and teaching of improvisational acting in private classes for actors and non-actors as well as for corporate motivational seminars.