Literary and commercial fiction
I specialise in editing literary and commercial fiction. If you’re writing historical fiction, women’s fiction, romantic fiction, a psychological thriller, crime fiction, spy fiction or genre fiction, or if you’re a novelist for whom English is your second language, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
I offer four types of bespoke edits for fiction writers. Every edit is tailored specifically to what you think your manuscript needs and what you are hoping to achieve with your book, be that self-publishing, submitting to an agent or improving your writing for your own satisfaction.
The Big-Picture Edit
A Stage 1 structural edit
Constructive feedback on the fundamentals of your novel, including its storyline, pace and timeline. Designed to re-energise you and your novel.
Best for: A manuscript that hasn’t yet been professionally edited or has received negative feedback from a beta-reader.Learn more
The Nuts and Bolts Edit
A Stage 2 copy-edit
A professional makeover that focuses on the clarity and consistency of your novel’s language and corrects its punctuation and grammar.
Best for: A novel that’s had its big-picture issues resolved and is ready for a serious polish.Learn more
The Full-Works Edit
A comprehensive two-stage edit
The gold-standard edit that begins with an intensive Stage 1 structural analysis of your novel and later continues with a thorough Stage 2 polish of its language and style.
Best for: Transforming your manuscript into a book of publishable quality.Learn more
The Introductory Edit
A fixed-price edit on your first 10,000 words
An affordable taster edit that critiques and polishes your first 10,000 words and gives you practical editorial tools for revising the rest of your novel.
Best for: Discovering how an edit can help you improve your novel, and preparing your first few chapters for submission to an agent or publisher.Learn more
Wondering what difference an edit could make to your novel?
Case study: The Breaking of Liam Glass, by Charles Harris
The book: Satirical thriller about the tabloid press, celebrity culture and the residents of a north-London neighbourhood.
How I helped: By showing Charles how he could make his novel funnier and more hard-hitting by adjusting his narrative voice and fleshing out some characterisations.
Charles says: 'Lucy is a great editor who immediately got what I was trying to do with my two novels and focused powerfully on what would make them work in the way that I wanted them to. Her notes and further discussions were extensive, insightful and constructive. Highly recommended.'
Marble City Publishing
Case study: The Miraculous Music of Clara Martinelli, by Peter Howard
The book: Magical-realist fiction that tells the parallel stories of a young concert harpist in London and a mystical monk from the Nepalese Himalayas.
How I helped: By demonstrating to Peter how he could use backstory and world-building techniques to emphasise the connections between his two storylines and so give his novel greater cohesion and impact.
Peter says: 'I was amazed that Lucy knew my characters, plot and themes as well (or better!) than me. Her suggestions on how to hone and develop all three were excellent and insightful, and her patience and willingness to enter into prolonged discussions about the most minor issues was outstanding. She is a true professional and she always goes that extra mile – clearly, she cares deeply about her work. I can’t wait to send her my next manuscript.'
Case study: The Other You, by JS Monroe
The book: Psychological thriller about super-recognisers, doppelgängers, artificial intelligence and how we decide who to trust.
How I helped: By suggesting ways in which the psychological profiles, motives and interactions of some characters could be developed to make the story even more credible and complex.
JS says: 'Lucy has been the line- and copy-editor on three of my psychological thrillers and I wouldn’t want to be edited by anyone else. In fact, my agent specifically asked for Lucy to work on my books as part of my latest contract, so highly is she regarded in the industry. She is particularly good at the internal logic and motivations of characters and even provided me with a fantastic final twist in one of my thrillers. In short, she’s the best in the business.'
Head of Zeus
Case study: The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice, by Katarina West
The book: Whimsical, feelgood body-swap comedy about a put-upon housewife, a self-absorbed actress and the mischievous angel who turns their lives upside down.
How I helped: By encouraging Katarina to delve more deeply into her characters’ backstories and give each of her three protagonists a clearly identifiable journey through the novel.
Katarina says: 'Lucy has not only been a brilliant editor but has also acted as my counsellor, ally, adviser and creative midwife. Had it not been for her incredible support and always helpful comments, I would never have had the energy and courage to imagine this new universe into being.'
Lucy’s editorial work was a real mainstay for The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer. Without her keen eye and guiding influence I would never have brought the book to publication level, not to mention the constant support and encouragement that kept me going when things were proving tricky. You need someone like that behind you when you’re self-publishing.
Lucille Turner, author of The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer (literary historical fiction)
I really do understand the phrase ‘I couldn’t have done it without you’ now. My inability to realise this book was a long-held frustration and you have shaped and worked and delicately gilded it until it shines.
Ann Munro, author of The Art of Dying (literary fiction)