With regard to novelists, I’ve written a great deal about listening to the voices of experience when it comes to a writing coach/editor. I shared the following post in 2013 and figured it would be just as relevant today.


I received a totally unexpected phone call this past summer. The caller identified himself as Vincent Barrington (sounds like a great name for a character in a novel, no?), a past client of mine. It took me a few seconds to recall the name. After all, as Vince informed me, it had been three years since I’d evaluated his manuscript, a suspense thriller.

“I wrote what I thought was a fairly good book,” Vince told me. “It ran 350 pages. I’d written it three times and of course it was perfect! Then I sent it to you. Ooh boy, was I wrong. You tore me apart.”

Vince told me just how much I’d burst his bubble. He put the manuscript in a drawer and did not even look at it until three years later; until now.

“To be honest, it took me this long to understand why,” he said. “I re-read the manuscript, then re-read your notes, and I realized that all you’d said about it was true. A note to any wanna-be writer who submits work to you: you do tell it like it really is. I think that is so important; there is absolutely no rip-off. Just honesty, for which I thank you.”

Vince said that he was even going to start working on it again, and when he felt that it was a lot better, he’d be back in touch with me. How cool is that! So, it took three years to get through. Better late than never.

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