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


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. . .

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. . .

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

    I edit all fiction to lull the reader into, as John Gardner called it, the ‘continuous dream.’ This means not only hypnotizing the reader into a receptive state in which they come to believe that the story is actually occurring to them, but also not waking the reader from that state.

    When the reader wakes from the fictional dream, they remember that they have a life, which causes them to put down the novel and walk away. Our job as writers is to prevent this from ever, ever occurring to them until the very last page. If the reader wakes from the fictional dream because the writer has offended them, not only do they put down the novel and walk away, but they also tell everyone they know not to pick it up. This is word-of-mouth, and it is the engine that either drives or destroys almost all sales in the publishing industry.

    There are any number of things that an aspiring writer can do to accidentally wake the reader from the fictional dream.

    The most common of our era are sex, bigotry, violence, and traumatizing material for teens and children. I do not edit p*rnographic scenes, gratuitous violence or gore, so please do not send me manuscripts containing these scenes, as I will skip right over them. And please don’t send me manuscripts based upon bigotry, as I will simply return them. I also do not edit “horror” for teens or children.

    General taboo issues

    I always edit according to the sensitivity of the average reader of ordinary moral compass.

    The average reader is sensitized to such taboos as child abuse, animal abuse, and profanity. Please do not send me manuscripts containing graphic descriptions of child abuse or animal abuse, as I will skip over them. And please do not send me manuscripts full of profanity. A very minimal scattering of it is fine, but if I consider it excessive I will do a Find & Replace to turn all profanity into childhood terms that make me laugh.

    Erotica and p*rn

    I do not edit erotica or p*rnographic scenes.

    I do edit sex scenes.

    The sex scenes I edit—like all scenes—must be essential to the forward motion of the story. I edit them for the average reader, who expects all scenes to be focused upon the characters’ emotional needs and relationships, without startling, specifically sexual anatomical terms or practices.


    I do not edit manuscripts in which the author or narrator indulges in bigotry against those of another gender, race, sexual orientation, able-bodiness, or other delineation.

    I do edit manuscripts in which an unsympathetic character or characters might indulge in bigotry as part of the forward motion of the story.


    I do edit manuscripts in which the author uses self-denigration as a technique for winning the reader’s sympathy. Self-denigration is almost always a humor technique, and as such is very tricky to use successfully. Humor is fabulous if you can do it right. But you have to be able to do it right.

    Violence and gore

    I do not edit gratuitous violence or gore.

    I do edit action scenes with violence in them and descriptive scenes after which violence has occurred.

    However, the violence and descriptions must be essential to the forward motion of the story. Because my genre specialties are the murder mystery and ghost story, I know quite a lot about ways to portray damage to the human body within the expectations of the average reader.

    I edit action scenes by minimizing the violence, because action scenes must move forward swiftly, with perfect pacing and a minimum of language.

    And I edit descriptive scenes for the average reader, who expects all scenes to be focused upon the characters’ emotional needs and relationships, without disgusting or repulsive gratuitous gore.

    Middle Grade & Young Adult

    I do not edit “horror” for children or teens.

    I worked for decades with children, and I am very concerned that the fashion of offering them trendy dark fiction is shaping their brains for panic and disaster. They do not live in a world in which strangers are constantly trying to kill them. They live in a world in which very real problems need very real solutions, and they must grow up to be emotionally-stable and clear-headed in order to create these solutions.

    Medical science shows that when we experience violence and horror—even in entertainment—our brains store those experiences as actual trauma. Readers acclimated to this trauma will be running the world when you and I are elderly and frail. We cannot afford to numb anyone now to the very real social and personal consequences of treating violence and horror as entertainment.

    It is the responsibility of all of us, whatever our skills, to be building a world of compassion and common sense for the future.


    “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



    No Comments

Comments are closed.