Frank W. Lewis

Frank W. Lewis – Editor

Journalist with more than 30 years’ experience working with writers of all ages and experience levels on nonfiction and fiction projects.

Overview

Writing is a journey, and a good editor is a guide. The writer determines the destination, the editor helps them find the best path, and stay on it. My role differs in every case, depending on what the writer needs. Sounding board. Devil’s advocate. Co-conspirator. Therapist. Noodge.


I specialize in developmental editing and line editing. Developmental editing is mostly about big-picture stuff — plot, characters, structure, pace, etc. It’s less about “fixing” the writing and more about collaborating with the author on a plan for writing the next draft. Line editing is looking at the forest and the trees — it’s developmental editing that includes sentence-level work.


When I read a manuscript, these are the main things I’m looking for:


Structure: Does the story begin “as close to the end as possible”, as Kurt Vonnegut advised? Does the narrative progress in a coherent way? Does it move at a pace that will hold a reader’s interest while also providing the details and background that bring the characters and setting to life? Is there a discernible beginning, middle and end? Are there peaks and valleys in the action that trend upward toward the climax?


Voice: Does the point of view from which the author is writing suit the story, and does the author adhere to it throughout? Is the writing style also suitable and consistent? How will the writing “sound” in the reader’s head? Do the writer’s stylistic choices seem natural, or arbitrary and jarring? Is the writer using words that are clear, direct and varied? Is the writer using too much passive voice or relying too heavily on adverbs?


Engagement: Are the characters developed enough that readers will care what happens to them? Will they feel invested in the outcome of the characters’ (literal or metaphoric) journey? If the story is fantastical, is the internal logic sufficient to maintain the suspension of disbelief? (Related: Has the author spent too much or too little time on world building?)


These questions apply to both fiction and nonfiction writing. As a journalist, I learned that nonfiction can benefit greatly from some of the elements of fiction. As an editor, I’ve seen how fiction writers can learn from the journalist’s commitment to brevity — a story is as long as it needs to be, and no longer.


My editing process starts with a get-to-know-you conversation, so that I understand the writer’s vision, concerns and goals. As I work I generate lots of notes. After handing over those notes, I give the writer time to digest, then schedule another meeting to review and to offer whatever advice I can for next steps.

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Humanities & Social Sciences True Crime
Languages
English (US)

Work experience

Self-employed

Jun, 2010 — Present

Storylogic Media provides a range of editorial services for businesses and individuals.

Frank W. has 2 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Zachary R.

Zachary R.

Feb, 2023

Working with Frank was really good! When I sent my request to him, and gave him parts of my manuscript, the work that he had done on it was really good! He did some changes to my manuscript, which was good, and he did keep some things that I had originally written from my manuscript. He did add notes to my manuscript, just some things that I needed to change up, which is fine. It will happen wh...
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Iohannes S.

Iohannes S.

Apr, 2022

He knows about literature. I spoke with him on the phone to discuss the book and we talked about the major themes in the book. I got the book notes back and he is honest but is not discouraging.
Frank W. L.
I like working with ambitious writers, and Iohannes’s book was a fun challenge.

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