Victoria Bell

Victoria Bell - Editor

Ottawa, Canada

A Certified Professional Editor, I offer editorial services to fiction authors looking to self-publish or submit to agents and publishers.

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Overview

I know what it’s like. I've been on both sides of the writing fence for 2 decades, as an editor (with Certified Professional Editor designation from the Editors' Association of Canada) and fiction writer (with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing [novel]). That dual perspective has been useful while learning what makes for good writing. My goal is to help you strengthen your fiction, without trying to change your voice.

I offer a couple of levels of editorial services for fiction manuscripts.

Manuscript evaluation
This is a set of notes on the "big picture"; advice on strengthening your novel's plot, characterization, dialogue, and structure; this is ideal for early drafts!

Copy-editing
For completed manuscripts, before you self-publish or submit to an agent, publisher, contest, or literary journal, I'd recommend a copy-edit to check the mechanics. I'll review the punctuation, grammar, spelling, and formatting, to ensure everything is correct and consistent throughout. I'll also suggest changes to any awkward phrasing so that the language reads as smoothly as possible, without changing your own writing style.

I also provide free sample edits (usually 5 double-spaced pages), so you can try before you buy!

Need help with a website or back-cover blurb, or a query letter to agents or publishers? I fully understand the agony of trying to distill a novel-length project into a paragraph! Sometimes you just need someone with an objective eye. I can review and help to polish your supporting material.

You'll find more information about me and my editorial services at my website. A selection of the books I’ve edited or worked on is shown in the Portfolio section, below. Samples available on request.
Languages
English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Action & Adventure
Fantasy
Historical Fiction
Horror
Humor & Comedy
Literary Fiction
Plays & Screenplays
Romance
Science Fiction
Thriller & Suspense
Women's Fiction
Young Adult

Certifications

  • Certified Professional Editor

Work experience

Manuscript Editor

Canadian Medical Association Journal
March, 2017 – Present (over 3 years)

I work as a copy and stylistic editor on medical and humanities pieces, helping to produce 50 issues of the journal per year.

Copy-Editor and Reviser

CADTH
April, 2011 – March, 2017 (almost 6 years)

I copy-edit and proofread technical reports on drugs and health technologies, for the public and for health care decision-makers.

Editor, writer, translator

Self-employed
January, 1994 – Present (almost 27 years)

I have more than 25 years' experience in structural editing, copy-editing, and proofreading text of all types, from novels and short stories to journals and academic writing.

Portfolio (13 selected works)

Escape Plans

Teri Vlassopoulos

Fiction. My father drowned in the Aegean Sea, fifty nautical miles northeast of the port of Piraeus. When it happened, my mother and I were at home in Toronto. It was early evening in Greece, afternoon for us, and I was at school when she found out. Niko Kiriakos, tentative heir to the ailing Calypso Shipping fleet, always suspected he was cursed. Following his sudden disappearance, his wife, ... read more

Fiction. My father drowned in the Aegean Sea, fifty nautical miles northeast of the port of Piraeus. When it happened, my mother and I were at home in Toronto. It was early evening in Greece, afternoon for us, and I was at school when she found out. Niko Kiriakos, tentative heir to the ailing Calypso Shipping fleet, always suspected he was cursed. Following his sudden disappearance, his wife, ... read more

The First of Shadows (The Riven Realm Book 1)

Deck Matthews

How do you kill a shadow? As a raging storm descends on the Blasted Coast, the crippled young rigger, Caleb Rusk, meets a stranger on the road. Little does he know that the encounter will pull him into a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear—and change the course of his life forever.Meanwhile, in the Capital of Taralius, a string of inexplicable deaths have captured the attention of... read more

How do you kill a shadow? As a raging storm descends on the Blasted Coast, the crippled young rigger, Caleb Rusk, meets a stranger on the road. Little does he know that the encounter will pull him into a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear—and change the course of his life forever.Meanwhile, in the Capital of Taralius, a string of inexplicable deaths have captured the attention of... read more

Hamartia

Raquel Rich

Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’... read more

Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’... read more

Of Courage and Chaos (Worlds Afire Book 3)

Scott Kelemen

Having survived the final trials of the Academy, Johanna and her friends begin their careers amidst the stars as Midshipmen in the Alliance Navy fleet. As they take their first steps, hidden forces continue their work to de-stabilize the very Alliance so many have fought to protect. Their plans will empower a madman, whose murderous attempt to usurp power will incite war for the first time in ... read more

Having survived the final trials of the Academy, Johanna and her friends begin their careers amidst the stars as Midshipmen in the Alliance Navy fleet. As they take their first steps, hidden forces continue their work to de-stabilize the very Alliance so many have fought to protect. Their plans will empower a madman, whose murderous attempt to usurp power will incite war for the first time in ... read more

Winter of 1813 (Beyond 1812 Book 1)

John W Egan

Despite the trauma of battles that haunt him and an estranged family he struggles to accept, James Butler tries to do what is right, find love, and make his own way in the world. By saving one life, James takes history down a different path from ours. By following his premonitions, he will shape the events of this war, the lives of millions, and the map of a continent as winter edges into 1813.

Despite the trauma of battles that haunt him and an estranged family he struggles to accept, James Butler tries to do what is right, find love, and make his own way in the world. By saving one life, James takes history down a different path from ours. By following his premonitions, he will shape the events of this war, the lives of millions, and the map of a continent as winter edges into 1813.

The Ebola War (Angel and Mercy)

John W. Egan, Bakar Mansaray

A dozen years ago, as the war in Sierra Leone was ending and their Small Girl Unit destroyed, Angel-of-Death and No-Mercy escaped from the rebels who had forced them to fight and commit atrocities. These former child-soldiers became Angel and Mercy, young women with careers, but without histories or families. Their hidden past and hopeful future begin to unravel when they are called upon to he... read more

A dozen years ago, as the war in Sierra Leone was ending and their Small Girl Unit destroyed, Angel-of-Death and No-Mercy escaped from the rebels who had forced them to fight and commit atrocities. These former child-soldiers became Angel and Mercy, young women with careers, but without histories or families. Their hidden past and hopeful future begin to unravel when they are called upon to he... read more

Angel and Mercy: The Ceasefire War

John W Egan

Inspired by real events, this is the story of sixteen-year-old Angel-of-Death and ten-year-old No-Mercy, child-rebels who were forced to fight for the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone. As the war nears its end in 2001, they are separated. They had wanted to stop fighting and live together as sisters, but now they must fight the rebels they had served, fight the agencies that would se... read more

Inspired by real events, this is the story of sixteen-year-old Angel-of-Death and ten-year-old No-Mercy, child-rebels who were forced to fight for the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone. As the war nears its end in 2001, they are separated. They had wanted to stop fighting and live together as sisters, but now they must fight the rebels they had served, fight the agencies that would se... read more

Alexa Stone and the Lake of Fire

Megan Boudreau

Book one in the Alexa Stone series. Beyond Alexa Stone’s miserable, hum-drum human existence, a battle to maintain the balance of the Elements has been waging for centuries. Unbeknownst to her, her fate does not include the small-town subsistence, thankless job, and uncaring foster family that make up her current life. She discovers, through the stranger Landon Knight, that the destiny she has... read more

Book one in the Alexa Stone series. Beyond Alexa Stone’s miserable, hum-drum human existence, a battle to maintain the balance of the Elements has been waging for centuries. Unbeknownst to her, her fate does not include the small-town subsistence, thankless job, and uncaring foster family that make up her current life. She discovers, through the stranger Landon Knight, that the destiny she has... read more

The Searcher

Ray Dacolias

Joaquin Bridger is a former soldier who settles in the town of Redwood, becomes a police officer, marries, and has a daughter. He and his family live there peacefully for ten years, and then tragedy strikes. His wife and daughter are killed in a confrontation with bank robbers, and he blames himself. He quits the police force and begins a wandering, aimless life around town, walking wherever h... read more

Joaquin Bridger is a former soldier who settles in the town of Redwood, becomes a police officer, marries, and has a daughter. He and his family live there peacefully for ten years, and then tragedy strikes. His wife and daughter are killed in a confrontation with bank robbers, and he blames himself. He quits the police force and begins a wandering, aimless life around town, walking wherever h... read more

Island in the Clouds (Bequia Perspectives Book 1)

Susan M. Toy

The dead body in the pool is putting a serious dent in Geoff’s morning. An ex-pat property manager on the Caribbean island of Bequia, Geoff doesn’t want a spotlight shone on the secret past he left behind in Canada, but now he’s the suspect in a brutal murder. With no help from the inept local police force, he’s drawn into investigating the murder himself, to clear his name. As Geoff finds out... read more

The dead body in the pool is putting a serious dent in Geoff’s morning. An ex-pat property manager on the Caribbean island of Bequia, Geoff doesn’t want a spotlight shone on the secret past he left behind in Canada, but now he’s the suspect in a brutal murder. With no help from the inept local police force, he’s drawn into investigating the murder himself, to clear his name. As Geoff finds out... read more

Persian Moons

Tom Omidi

Darren Durant returns to Vancouver in 1988 after living in Tehran for three years and coping with the chaos of the Iran-Iraq war, including nightly missile attacks. He is now determined to establish himself as a painter and find a dependable companion. He had traveled to Iran after an agonizing separation from his beloved wife, Erica. Even the sacrifice to abandon his artistic passion and work... read more

Darren Durant returns to Vancouver in 1988 after living in Tehran for three years and coping with the chaos of the Iran-Iraq war, including nightly missile attacks. He is now determined to establish himself as a painter and find a dependable companion. He had traveled to Iran after an agonizing separation from his beloved wife, Erica. Even the sacrifice to abandon his artistic passion and work... read more

Teller of Tales

Ray Dacolias

“Janitor” is a story about a man whose skin pigments happen to be predominantly black, who exists in Southern society before the advent of a kinder and gentler America. Although he is not treated with respect at his custodial job or in town, he is the embodiment of affability and graciousness. One day, something dramatic happens to alter the shameful attitude of his fellow citizens toward him.... read more

“Janitor” is a story about a man whose skin pigments happen to be predominantly black, who exists in Southern society before the advent of a kinder and gentler America. Although he is not treated with respect at his custodial job or in town, he is the embodiment of affability and graciousness. One day, something dramatic happens to alter the shameful attitude of his fellow citizens toward him.... read more

Mirror Deep

Joss Landry

Danger and romance roll like thunder through horse whisperer Kat Bonner’s world, when a known felon comes to the ranch to drop a bomb about her past. Kat turns to Pierce for help; the same Pierce who bucks her every chance he gets, and whose feverish investigation lands them in trouble with the law and directly in the path of a serial killer. Mystery deepens, fraught with wrong turns, bumbling... read more

Danger and romance roll like thunder through horse whisperer Kat Bonner’s world, when a known felon comes to the ranch to drop a bomb about her past. Kat turns to Pierce for help; the same Pierce who bucks her every chance he gets, and whose feverish investigation lands them in trouble with the law and directly in the path of a serial killer. Mystery deepens, fraught with wrong turns, bumbling... read more

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