Victoria Mixon, Author & Editor Editing     Testimonials     Books     About     Contact       Copyright

Authors


MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world’s expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .


SASHA TROYAN is a Professor of English at Montclair University and author of the critically-acclaimed novels Angels in the Morning and The Forgotten Island, both Booksense Selections, beautiful stories based upon her childhood in France. I worked with Troyan to develop her new novels, Marriage A Trois and Semester. Read more. . .


LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .


BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .


SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I’m working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .


SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .


M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with multiple sci-fi/fantasy series set in the Multiverse, based upon her expertise in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .


DARREN D. BEYER is an ex-NASA experiment engineer who has worked on every Space Shuttle orbiter but Challenger. In his sci-fi Anghazi Series, Beyer uses his scientific expertise to create a galaxy in which “space bridges” allow interstellar travel based upon the latest in real theoretical physics. Read more. . .


ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny’s debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .


STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield’s second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .


GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans’ fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .


JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .


LISA MERCADO-FERNANDEZ writes literary novels of love, loss, and friendship set in the small coastal towns of New England. I edited Mercado-Fernandez’ debut novel The Shoebox and second novel The Eighth Summer. Read more. . .


JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff’s abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .


LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star. Read more. . .


ALEX KENDZIORSKI is an American physician working in South Africa on community health education and wildlife conservation. I edited Kendziorski’s debut novel Wait a Season for Their Names about the endangered African painted wolf, for which he is donating the profits to wildlife conservation. Read more. . .


ALEXANDRA GODFREY blogs for the New England Journal of Medicine. I work with Godfrey on her short fiction and narrative nonfiction, including a profile of the doctor who helped save her son’s life, “Mending Broken Hearts.” Read more. . .


In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    AND! Free CLIMAX Edit #5 goes to Julie Cross, who also wins a Developmental Edit for her entire chapter!

    Setup

    15 year old girl MC being haunted by her forty-year-old Algebra teacher whom she hated and watched die during detention, but has now grown to like. The two discover his death was a murder, and Jaycie and her boyfriend Matt head to his apartment to look for clues about what might have caused his death when the murderer shows up to thwart their operation.

    Climax

    “Matt! Stay awake, please.” Panic rose again when he didn’t respond. I forgot where I was and what was happening. My eyes darted over to Schuster and a horrible idea formed in my head and I couldn’t get rid of it.

    “This isn’t why you’re here is it? Please tell me it’s not why you’re here. To take Matt somewhere or. . .” I couldn’t finish. I’d seen too many movies like this, they were clouding my judgment.

    Schuster’s eyes widened, “I don’t know Jaycie. How would I know if that were the reason?”

    He was asking me? Now I was totally freaked. I let go of Matt’s side and put my hands on his face, “Matt wake up! Please don’t die. This is all my fault.” I laid my head on his chest letting everything go.

    Then I don’t know how much later someone was prying my hands from Matt and pulling me to my feet. I turned slowly to look into the eyes of a man with a yellow jacket then everything went black.

    I woke up to the sound of sirens ringing in my ears. My head jerked and I sat up quickly staring at what looked like the inside of an ambulance. The movement stopped abruptly and I still couldn’t focus. Colors and lights swirled around me. I felt the sting of the cool night air. I inhaled the scent of the hospital through my nostrils and people asked me questions.

    “What’s your name?”

    “How about your friends, what are their names?”

    I think I answered but I’m not sure. I was consumed with the horrible truth of what happened and I wanted to float away before it sunk in. I looked down at my hands, they were covered in his blood.

    Developmental Edit

    Whoa—is he dead, or isn’t he? This is tension!

    Can we tell the premise of this story from the climax? Matt either dies or almost dies, and Schuster is the key. That’s pretty good.

    I’m hoping from the way the protagonist talks to him that Schuster is a spirit or angel or some other character who might conceivably turn up when someone dies to take them somewhere. The ghost of the Algebra teacher? Oh, yeah! If this isn’t paranormal, it sure ought to be!

    Okay, I’ve done a little editing for punctuation, particularly around the dialog, and trimmed a few words to sharpen the focus. I’ve also removed some of the exposition. Do you see how the reader is drawn in further when they’re not told exactly what the character’s thinking? I also removed a couple of pointers you don’t need, specifically that the protagonist smells with their nostrils and that people began asking questions. (I used “smell” rather than “scent” for the hospital, as “scent” tends to be more commonly understood in terms of “perfume.”) You can jump right over that stuff. If the reader can’t pick it up from the context, boy, they’re just not paying attention.

    Copy & Line Edit

    “Matt! Stay awake, please.”

    He didn’t respond.

    I forgot where I was and what was happening. My eyes darted to Schuster, and a horrible idea formed in my head.

    “This isn’t why you’re here, is it? Please tell me it’s not why you’re here. To take Matt somewhere or. . .” I couldn’t finish. I’d seen too many movies like this.

    Schuster’s eyes widened. “I don’t know, Jaycie. How would I know if that were the reason?”

    He was asking me? I let go of Matt’s side and put my hands on his face. “Matt, wake up! Please don’t die. This is all my fault.” I laid my head on his chest.

    I don’t know how much later someone was prying my hands away and pulling me to my feet. I turned slowly to look into the eyes of a man with a yellow jacket. Then everything went black.

    I woke up to the sound of sirens ringing in my ears. My head jerked, and I sat up quickly, staring around at the inside of an ambulance. The movement stopped abruptly, but I still couldn’t focus. Colors and lights swirled around me. I felt the sting of the cool night air. I inhaled the hospital smell.

    “What’s your name?”

    “How about your friends—what are their names?”

    I think I answered, but I’m not sure. I looked down at my hands.

    They were covered with his blood.

    Subscribe:

    5 Comments

    “The freshest and most relevant
    advice you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

    The Art & Craft of Writing Stories


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

    5 Comments

5 Responses to “Free CLIMAX Edit: Julie

  1. Ooh, I want to know what happens next! Congrats, Julie!

  2. Jordan – thank you for the kind words and Victoria thanks for having such a great and yet useful contests. Your edits are fantastic!

  3. Thank you, Julie! You’re very welcome.

    Jordan, don’t you love the ambiguity? I’m guessing we know what’s happened if we’ve read the whole novel, but just reading the climax left me wondering, “What happened to Matt? Did she do it?”

    That’s why I broke that last line off into a paragraph of its own. So even if you know what happened you still get that frisson of Lady Macbeth—blood on her hands!

  4. I love that you separated the last line. It gives it that extra something I couldn’t quite come up with. I

    was thinking the whole idea that he’s out of her sight, separated from the blood on her hands would hit her hard as far as coming to grips with death and the fact that it can happen anytime.

    A hard thing for teenagers to accept.

  5. I always like to try to guess what you are going to change during an edit. I read Julie’s original and thought, “Everything here is necessary.”

    It really does amaze me how the edit still conveys the same sense of panic and confusion, but with fewer words. I know this is an important element in writing – to say it in as few words as possible – but I still tend to underestimate my reader and repeat what they are already getting from the dialog. The vivid words you retained, like darted, jerked and widened say a lot in this passage.

    Kathryn



Google