Crafting Your Story, Your BookSM
From Concept to Composition
Biography – Memoir – History – Theology – Religion
Manuscript Assessment and Developmental Editing
Currently booking projects for November and December of 2022 and early 2023
If as a writer your passion is Christian non-fiction (biblical, theological, philosophical, historical, pastoral, homiletical, ethical, devotional, or inspirational), or your literary bent belongs to one or more of the conventional non-fiction genres of biography, memoir, history, or religion, then I may be able to assist you.
Both of us benefit at the outset from answers to two clarifying questions about your writing project: (1) In what specific genre of Christian or conventional non-fiction are you writing? (2) Which one of the following types of editing best describes what you need now, and which ones possibly later?
• Stage One – Editorial Assessment You’ve completed your outline and first draft and want an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses along with suggestions for improving structure, organization, style, tone, theme, characterization, voice, point of view, plot, dialogue, diction, documentation, and how best to retain your readers’ attention and involvement. You will receive an analytical report with concrete recommendations. The assessment process concludes with a discussion of the various aspects of the report.
• Stage Two – Developmental Editing You’ve completed your first draft and want a comprehensive report with explicit recommendations throughout the manuscript for potential restructuring and redevelopment of aspects of the content and its presentation, including concept, theme, theses, timeline, argument, evidence, transitions, conclusions, documentation, style, voice, dialogue, diction, plot, and characterization. The developmental report addresses elements that you may want to consider when revising your text. Your developmental report is accompanied by track changes containing editorial questions, comments, and suggestions, along with a style sheet. A follow-up review of your revisions, with additional recommendations, is optional by amending the contract.
• Stage Three – Copy Editing You’re basically satisfied with the direction and substance of your completed manuscript, yet you need line-by-line, meticulous fine-tuning before you present it, or re-present it, to an agent or publisher, concentrating on the strengthening of prose, consistency of style, precise wording, grammar, syntax, punctuation, spelling, and the use of illustration, metaphor, and analogy. You want to obtain that highly polished version of your work deserving of public display in the bookstore window or distinctive medium in which you plan to publish. Your edited manuscript contains editorial revisions and track changes with questions, comments, and suggestions, along with a style sheet. (I do not currently offer a copy editing service.)
• Stage Four – Proofreading You’re ready for the final inspection of the formatted and typeset PDF of your masterpiece, correcting last-minute spelling, grammatical, or typographical errors before it goes to print. (I do not currently offer a proofreading service.)
What You May Expect
As a published wordsmith and editor, I devote my analytical, evaluative, developmental, compositional, and copyediting skills to assist you with crafting your book-length manuscript, article, or speech. I am personally committed to working with you to achieve, with satisfaction, your best writing.
We first get acquainted via a Zoom interview. This enables us to obtain a sense for being a good fit for one another. I contract only with persons whom I have interviewed. I may ask you to submit additional material for review, beyond the sample accompanying your initial inquiry. Once the nature and scope of the project is agreed upon, you then receive a price estimate based upon my current fee schedule for the stage and extent of editing as well as the timeframe. The price depends upon the nature, depth, and complexity of the project. (Please note that I edit academic theses and dissertations for publication only after the degree has been awarded.)
From beginning to end we collaborate as a team. I maintain an open channel of communication with you as a valued client whose writing is of great importance to me as your editor. I bring five decades of published writing and editing experience to your project. I welcome the opportunity to learn what you are passionate about as a writer.
In the event you wish to inquire about my undertaking an editorial project on your behalf, you may reach out to me via my profile page on the Reedsy website, which is the platform through which I conduct my editorial communication, contracting, payment, and delivery. If you wish to be in touch with me about a matter unrelated to editorial work, you may do so from the contact page of this website.
About Charles Davidson
My publications include George Buttrick’s Guide to Preaching the Gospel (Abingdon Press, 2020) and Bone Dead, and Rising: Vincent van Gogh and the Self Before God (Cascade Books, 2011), a theological and psychological biography of Van Gogh’s life and art. My professional articles, biblical commentary and curricula, essays, and poetry have appeared in Pastoral Psychology(1)(2), Theology Today, The Journal of Presbyterian History, Adult Discovery, Christian Education Shared Approaches, Presbyterian Outlook, and Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics.
I received a Bachelor of Arts in English, philosophy, and religion from Hampden-Sydney College; a Master of Divinity in biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral studies, and Master of Theology in the history of Christianity from Union Presbyterian Seminary; a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral counseling and psychotherapy from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. I served as pastor of Presbyterian (USA) congregations in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia; adjunct instructor of philosophy at Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI, and of philosophy and theology at St. Mary’s College, Orchard Lake, MI; a clinician with Pastoral Counseling Services of Central Virginia in Lynchburg; and undergraduate professor of history and the Darrel Rollins graduate professor of pastoral theology, care, and counseling at Virginia University of Lynchburg. I live in Asheville, North Carolina.