Colm Boyd

Colm Boyd – Editor

Freelance developmental editor, with a focus on thriller and contemporary fiction, memoir non-fiction, and LGBTQ+ writing.

Overview

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I know that's a contradiction, but bear with me."

Even great writers have bumpy first drafts. It's my privilege as an editor to help you turn a good story into a great one. That covers everything from assessing the big picture to delving into individual sentences to make sure every part of your work is doing the most it can.

I've worked on projects from rollicking steampunk adventures to gripping psychological thrillers, with a sharp ear for authentic dialogue and a keen eye for continuity. I've had structure, stakes, and pacing drilled into me by the Creative Writing Master's at Edinburgh University and am delighted to dive into a project and work with you until you are thrilled with the result.

As well as the big picture, my experience as a technical writer and editing brand content allows me to hone into the sentences that make your voice unique. I can work with you to produce sharp, concise sentences that punch, or beautiful, melodic prose that a reader can luxuriate in.

It would be a joy to work collaboratively with you to ensure that the resulting novel is both satisfying for the reader, and authentically you.

Testimonials:

"Colm is an editor who fully engages with your work. His readings are smart, thorough and observant; his comments are thoughtful and helpful; his advice is kind, respectful and often very funny.

He has a real eye for the bigger picture – characterisation, plot arcs, tension, weird recurring issues you could never in a million years have identified on your own but that are glaringly obvious as soon as he points them out. I would highly recommend him as an editor, for both structural and more detailed work."

Elodie Olson-Coons, writer and editor


Services
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction LGBTQ Fiction Thriller & Suspense
Non-Fiction
LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Languages
English (UK) English (US)
Certifications
  • BA (Hons) English Studies - University of Stirling
  • MSc Creative Writing - University of Edinburgh

Work experience

Self-Employed

Oct, 2018 — Present

Providing developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading for a range of projects. Working collaboratively with writers to untangle plot points, smooth the structure, and ensure a consistent, engaging style.

RateSetter

Jul, 2015 — May, 2017 (almost 2 years)

Focused on producing and editing concise, clear non-fiction writing. The purpose of the role was to simplify technical concepts for general audiences without losing relevant context and content. This honed my line-level editing and proofreading skills, so that I could help writers convey the most powerful message efficiently.

Self-Employed

Sep, 2011 — Jun, 2015 (over 3 years)

Worked with several writers, providing developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Covered a range of styles and content, from historical dramas to a number of memoirs. It was a pleasure and a satisfying challenge to help with the latter especially: helping to make a work the best it can be, while handling the writer's experiences with care and tact.

Portfolio

A Capital Union

Victoria Hendry

SHORTLISTED FOR THE HISTORICAL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION DEBUT CROWN 2014. 'A remarkable debut ... an excellent novel, dramatic and engaging, with a Buchan thrills quality.' Alan Warner. Scotland, 1942. Seventeen year-old Agnes Thorne discovers that her new husband... read more
'Opens Vanessa Ronan's literary career the way dynamite opens a safe ... beautiful and invigoratingly shocking' Joseph O'Connor, Irish TimesMid-July in Texas. Cicadas shed their dry summer skins, the scent of roses hangs heavy in the still air, and a woman sit... read more
An edge-of-your-seat serial killer thriller that you won’t be able to put down! There it is: FEAR. It’s crawling all over her face and in her eyes, like a swarm of insects, and it’s all because of HIM. A serial killer has been terrorising Lancaster for decades... read more

Colm has 3 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Roger M.

Roger M.

Oct, 2021

Working with Colm was a great experience. He is very friendly and knowledgeable!
Colm B.
Many thanks for the review Roger, it was a pleasure working with you and I wish you every success with your work.
James V.

James V.

Jul, 2021

It was a great pleasure working with writing and editing professional Colm. As an untrained writer Colm provided me valuable expertise with critique and advice on writing my memoir that no amount of Googling on my own could have ever produced. I was impressed from the beginning with his detailed price quotation. I had requested three professional price quotes on the Reedsy platform. His was ...
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Colm B.
Thank you JD for this review, it's lovely to hear such positive feedback. I hope you enjoy the next part of the revision process, and am keen to hear how you get on with it, as well as your other n...
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Glen L.

Glen L.

Jun, 2021

Colm had some great insights that I had not thought of. He provided some great suggestions on what to delete, re-work and expand upon. I will definitely work with Colm again and would recommend him for any projects that focus on different cultures, travel or international topics. Thanks Colm!

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