I love everything about writing. One of my favourite things about writers is just how generous I have found them to be, and helpful. I’ve had help from some very good writers. And it wasn’t until I started helping other writers that I realised why – there is nothing better than seeing the light bulb go on over another writer’s head. I got into editing because I took a chance. My editor couldn’t fit in editing one of my novels, so I said if he was that busy, could I help? He sent me a sample to edit, I did and his reply is one that will always stay with me:
“You’re one of us!”
Never had anyone say something like that to be before. And I have loved every edit I’ve done – even the ones I curse about because they were so difficult and painful to get through. Writing and editing are what I was born to do.
There are a variety of different editing levels. I am what’s called a structural editor (also known as developmental editor). This means I am often the first person other than the writer to see a story. So I’m here to make sure the story makes sense, follows the laws of nature/physics/magic, that the arcs arc, that loose ends are tied up (unless they shouldn’t be), and that the author has made the best of their own ideas without falling into too many trope traps.
I help others make their stories better.
Along with detailed comments, questions, and suggestions in the edited manuscript, clients get a full critique document giving an overall review of the manuscript. I specialise in crime and science fiction, and my particular penchant is for getting timelines straight, a timeline that doesn’t hold water brings me out in a veritable rash but don’t worry I can cope with time travel so no fears there.
I work on a freelance basis for Jefferson Franklin Editing, so if you would like me to edit your work, you can ask for me through their contact, and if I’m not available, they have a number of other very good editors they can call on for help.
You don’t have to believe me, here’s what others say:
“Gail has done three structural edits on two of my crime novels and I can’t recommend her highly enough. She is supportive and approachable and I was particularly struck by her thoroughness and attention to detail. Aside from a great editing job she undertakes extensive research to double-check facts on behalf of the writer. She also had some highly insightful comments to make about my characters and plot. Indeed I came away feeling she knew my main character better than me!!
I am now at the stage of having sent my first manuscript, ‘Who Robbed The Dead?’ off to publishers and am delighted to say I am getting some very positive feedback. Much of this I attribute to Gail for helping make me a much better writer. I will definitely be using her services in the future.”
Tana Collins, author of “Who Robbed The Dead” and “Care To Die”
“As a first-time novelist, I wasn’t used to dealing with an editor, but Gail helped me all the way and was very easy to work with. From copy-editing to developmental advice, her reports were thorough and detailed. It was quite a shock when I saw just how much she had picked up on, but once I calmed down and looked at it in detail, I could see that she was absolutely right. I will definitely be using her again and highly recommend her.”
From A M Thomas, author of “Intruders: Flight of the Kestrel“
“At Jefferson Franklin Editing, our creed is that we’re there to be a friend to the work, rather than necessarily the author. We’ll tell you what you NEED to know, rather than necessarily what you WANT to hear.
Gail Williams embodies that spirit of professionalism. Your friends and family can tell you why you’re great. Gail can tell you that too, but she can also tell you where you can do better, what doesn’t work, and what you can do to improve, to polish, to add the depth you need. And she will, without fear or favour – that’s what makes her worth her weight in gold.
Gail’s a perfectly lovely person in real life. But given a manuscript to examine, she gets into the ‘zone’ and there’s not a word, not a phrase that will escape forensic scrutiny. She’ll read as a reader, absolutely, enjoying a good story well told (or more likely shown), but she also has access to a vast understanding of what makes language WORK, and what stops it hitting as hard as it should. That’s what you get in a Gail Williams edit – the ideal reader, going in with an open mind, plus the extra level of professional scrutiny that marks out a real editor. Someone who knows where you’re coming from, understands where you want to go, and has the tools of knowledge that can help you get there. “
Tony Fyler, Head of Jefferson Franklyn Editing