Short Story Editing

Yes, I edit short stories!

I can help you if:

  • you’ve hit a wall with your story. You know something valuable is at its core but you can’t seem to fully awaken it–its tentacles don’t reach the surface. Conversely, all you have is surface, because you haven’t yet discovered that squishy thing at your story’s core.
  • your story is strong, but your sentences are weak (or require a professional tweak).
  • you’re ready to submit your story to a journal, magazine, website or other publisher, and you want to give it a professional polish.

I contacted Pat when I stalled while writing a short story. It wasn’t working, and I couldn’t fix it. Pat’s skilled, objective, but kind analysis exposed the problems and helped me transform my slow-paced, fragmented work into a cohesive, dynamic, engaging narrative. Pat, I can’t thank you enough.

Derek Swallow, Writer (Canada)

Indicators that you would benefit from my help:

  • Your story seems flat. You feel bored at times reading it. Certain passages feel like they’re just getting characters from A to B.
  • You get to the end and think, so what.
  • Your sentences lack variety, following the same few constructions.
  • You’re frustrated with certain word choices.

I offer three levels of attention for short stories. These aren’t just edits, they’re learning experiences in the art of short fiction. I can show you techniques for unearthing the story’s spine, carving away fat, and getting it closer to the jewel you had in mind when you wrote the first draft:

Option 1 – Big Picture Critique: an overview of what’s working and what needs work, and a concrete plan for improvement

Option 2 – Line Edit / Copy Edit: sentence surgery that not only maintains, but heightens your voice, plus a final polish.

Option 3 – Comprehensive Edit: all of the above, delivered in two stages.

FREE Sample Line Edit

Not sure if you want to hire me? For short stories, I offer a free one-page sample edit. Send me the whole story in 12 pt, and double-spaced and I’ll send it back to you with marginal comments and some line edits on a page or two.

Short Story Editorial Rates

 Up to 2500 wds2500-5000 wds5000-8000 wds
Big Picture Critique125 USD200 USD300 USD
Line Edit/Copyedit125 USD200 USD300 USD
Comprehensive edit in two passes200 USD350 USD500 USD

For stories over 8,000 words, send me the story and I’ll send you a quote.

All rates are in USD. If you have more than one story for me to work on, rates are wigglier.

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