One of the first things I knew I had to do when I wrote “Sleeper’s Run” was to hire a professional editor to help me whip the story into publishable shape. Sadly, the World Wide Web is like any large community, and the shady element is never too far. As I researched possible editing services, I read horror stories of sites charging people for manuscript analysis, only to abscond with the money. Fortunately, I asked a dear friend in the screenplay evaluation business for guidance and was happy to find out her company actually did manuscripts as well.
Research aside, this was the first real investment in my book. The work wasn’t up to par, so after throwing an ego-driven tantrum for a few days, I started the long process of re-writing. Suffice to say, it took several drafts and three whole books written from scratch to end up with the final version of Sleeper’s Run, but thanks to Scriptshark’s help http://www.scriptshark.com/, I ended up with novel worth publishing. Sleeper’s was good enough to become the audition piece when they expanded their fiction services. As they put it ,“It’s easy to critique bad writing; assessing good writing is a different story.”
Their analysts were helpful, professional and constructive. Even when the work was less than stellar, they always found a positive thing to say about my writing. This is a company that encourages writers and writing in different media. I strongly advise you check them out.
Without a good professional editor (in my case that was plural) my novel would have been nothing more than a good concept or an interesting idea. And hearing things like how much they loved the protagonist, how the book kept them on the edge of their seats or how realistic the dialog was, helped my writing-confidence tremendously. Keep on running!