"How Story Editing Improves Your Fiction "
By Dr. Maxine Thompson

Have you ever read a story, be it a novel or short short, that you loved so much that you have read it over and over? After each new reading, you even noticed something different and took away another message. Do you know what many of these stories have in common? A good story editor. That's right. These novels have been edited for story and developmental value, and that's why the work is so memorable.

Well, as a fiction writer, isn't this what you'd like your books to do—resonate with the reader long after they have closed the pages? Wouldn't you like your reader to underline passages and re-read your book until it is dog-eared and coffee stained? As a novelist, I know I would.

So what is this magical ingredient that takes place when your novel is handled by a skilled story editor? Bonding. Yes, that simple word, bonding.

Let me use a comparison to a real life scenario. A baby can be fed, kept clean and provided with adequate care, but if bonding does not take place between the mother (or caretaker) and the child, the child will not thrive. This syndrome was first discovered in orphanages where babies were languishing away due to lack of bonding. This syndrome was called "maternal deprivation."

This process of bonding is analogous to what needs to happen between the writer and the reader. In reading, if emotional bonding does not take place between the reader and the story, the writer will lose the reader. The reader, in a sense, will disappear or languish away like the baby in a maternal deprivation case.

For instance, I’ve heard many book clubs say, “That story was flat,” or “I just couldn’t connect or root for the characters.” Often, this problem could have been remedied with a good story editor.

These are just some of the benefits of working with a good story editor.

A good story editor helps you:

-become a better writer.
-find holes in your storyline.
-show vs. tell your story.
-tie up plot twists and answer story questions
-develop realistic characters and capture human behavior in all of its subtleties.
-evoke emotions in your reader
-write more compelling dialogue.
-make your fictional characters sound like real people.
-dig into your heart and pull it out your chest
-discover the journey to truth or what your theme is about.

So why not use the skills of a professional story editor to help your readers bond to your story?