Crafting Your Story, Your BookSM
From Concept to Composition
Biography – Memoir – History – Philosophy – Psychology – Theology – Religion
Manuscript Assessment — Developmental & Copy Editing — Compositional Re-Writing
“True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance.” – Alexander Pope
If your literary bent is one of the non-fiction genres of biography, memoir, history, philosophy, psychology, or religion—or your passion is Christian non-fiction (biblical, theological, historical, ethical, homiletical, pastoral, or inspirational)—then I may be able to assist you.
What You May Expect
As an editor I devote my analytical, evaluative, developmental, and compositional skills to assist you with crafting your book-length manuscript or article. I am personally committed to working with you to achieve, with satisfaction, your best writing expressed in your own voice.
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 to your project five decades of experience as a published writer and editor.
We first get acquainted via a Zoom interview that enables us to obtain a sense for being a good fit for one another. 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 receive an offer based upon the type of editing requested, my current fee schedule, and the timeframe.
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 Reedsy’s 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.
I welcome the opportunity to learn what you are passionate about as a writer.
The Types of Editing
Both of us benefit at the outset from answers to two clarifying questions about your writing project: (1) In what specific genre of conventional or Christian 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?
• EDITORIAL ASSESSMENT You’ve completed the first draft of your book or essay and want an overall evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses, including suggestions for improving structure, organization, style, tone, theme, characterization, voice, point of view, plot, dialogue, diction, documentation, and how best to retain your readers’ engagement. You will receive a written report with concrete recommendations accompanied by track changes along with comments, questions, and suggestions. The assessment process concludes with an optional conversation about the content of your report.
• DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING You’ve completed the first draft of your book or essay and want a comprehensive, in-depth, paragraph-by-paragraph report with explicit recommendations throughout the manuscript for potential restructuring and redevelopment of your 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 important matters for your consideration when revising your text. It is accompanied by track changes along with comments, questions, suggestions, and a style sheet. The developmental editing concludes with an optional conversation about the content of your report.
• COPY EDITING You are basically satisfied with the direction and substance of your completed manuscript, yet you need 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, diction, punctuation, spelling, and the use of illustration, metaphor, and analogy. You want to obtain that highly polished version of your work consistent with your voice and ready for submission to the distinctive medium in which you plan to publish it. Your edited manuscript contains track changes along with comments, questions, suggestions, and a style sheet. The copy editing concludes with an optional conversation about your copy-edited manuscript.
• COMPOSITIONAL RE-WRITING Your manuscript is in need of a complete revision throughout. Compositional re-writing goes beyond developmental editing and copy editing, with detailed line-by-line, phrase-by-phrase, word-by-word narrative modification and restructuring of content, diction, phrasing, pace, tone, and emotion, consistent with your voice, and accompanied by track changes, comments, and a style sheet. The process concludes with an optional conversation about your completed manuscript. Compositional re-writing is the most comprehensive form of editing.
• PROOFREADING You’re ready for the final inspection of the formatted and typeset PDF of your manuscript, correcting last-minute spelling, grammatical, or typographical errors before it goes to print.
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,Theology Today,The Journal of Presbyterian History, Adult Discovery, Christian Education Shared Approaches, The 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.