UPDATE: If you feel you’re ready for an editor, check out my Editing page. If you’re not quite there, and need help developing your craft first, I do take on clients as a writing coach ($75 per hour). I typically only work with one client at a time, so you might want to do a little forward planning if you’re interested in my services.
So you have an idea for a novel, and you’ve studied the art and craft of writing a little, and you’ve completed several chapters – maybe even the entire manuscript – but you know there’s still something missing. Maybe you need an objective, trained pair of eyes to help you see where you’ve gone off-track with the plot. Perhaps you need someone with a fresh perspective to help you flesh out your characters. Or, could it be that you just need help with your grammar, and with ramping up the power and efficacy of your prose?
That’s why I’m here. I can help you in a few ways. First, if you’re truly in the early developmental stages, and what you really need is some basic training – a short online writing class, as it were – so you can do some self-editing and revising before your project is ready for a serious edit, I can custom-tailor training to your specific needs. Second, if you’re beyond that point, but still need direction to guide your manuscript revisions and polishing, I can help you streamline your focus to move the project closer to completion. Third, if what you need is essential mentoring as you move your writing career forward, helping you through the many obstacles you encounter, from crafting a great plot and characters, to developing a social media presence, to formatting and uploading your files as a self-publisher, I can help you with each step in the process, including pointing you to the proper resources. I charge $75 per hour for writing coach services, which are done via email and via online video conferencing, when we need to talk.
For more about what a I do as a coach, see this blog post: What does a Writing Coach do? And to see what others have said about working with me, see the testimonials below. And then let’s talk. Just email me at Lane@LaneDiamond.com and let me know what you need. We’ll have a preliminary 30-minute conversation at no charge to you, during which I can explain what I do, and you can determine whether I’m the right coach for you.
Ruby Standing Deer – “Very Pleased Customer” – Author of the Award-Winning SHINING LIGHT’S SAGA Series
“Lane has taught me more than any book or class. He cared enough to show me my grammar errors, even if he had to show me the same thing several times. His patience and encouragement keeps me going, and his willingness to push me, even when I feel I do not have what it takes to be a writer, has helped to wear off the letters on my keyboard! He is more than my editor; he is my mentor. If you seek someone to be there, to ask questions you may be embarrassed to ask, he will not treat you like a child. He will be your teacher and never say, “You should have known that!” I do not see myself ever searching out another for advice–on writing, editing or publishing.”
Michael Dadich – Author of the Multiple Award-Winning THE SILVER SPHERE
“Dave Lane [aka Lane Diamond] is the most thorough, organized and detail-oriented editor I have ever encountered. He worked with me diligently through my edits without changing my voice, and when we finished I felt like I had completed a writing class at a top college with a professor I enjoyed. I highly recommend working with him.”
Megan Harris – Former Editor with Evolved Publishing
“When Dave [Lane] took me under his wing in May 2012 as a junior editor for Evolved Publishing, I thought I knew a lot about editing from some of my past experience. Boy, was I wrong! With his guidance and intuitive nature with words, I’ve learned so much more regarding content review, the proper way to edit, and what quality writing looks like. I look at writing, grammar, structure and syntax completely different now thanks to his guiding hand, his patience with me, and his jovial nature and passion for the written word. I would highly recommend Dave as a mentor for any writer or editor seeking to challenge their skills and improve their technique.”
Kimberly (Karpov) Kinrade, Author of the Award-Winning THE FORBIDDEN TRILOGY and THE THREE LOST KIDS
“Lane Diamond is the best editor I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I’ve been an author and freelance writer and professional editor for most of my adult life, and working with him has taken my writing and editing skills to a whole new level. … Diamond has the unique ability to not only do a full content critique and exceptional line edit of a book, but his most remarkable gift is his ability to elevate the prose of a book and make it stronger, more active and more engaging for the reader. … When Diamond works on my novels, I know that he will make every sentence and every word fight for the right to be in my book. Nothing is overlooked, nothing is missed. … He quickly learns an author’s style and doesn’t try to impose his own voice onto the book, but instead works within that genre and voice to make the book best-seller material. …. I have published nine books with Diamond as my editor. The first won an award with the Forward National Literature Award its first month out. The second became a kindle top 10 best-seller in its category its first day out. I give Diamond a lot of credit for contributing to those successes.”
D. Robert Pease – Author of Award-Winning SHADOW SWARM, the Multiple Award-Winning NOA ZARC Series, and More
“I had the pleasure of working with Dave [Lane] on all three of my Noah Zarc books. Even though the first two had been professionally edited already, Dave was able to improve nearly every paragraph. The books are much stronger now than they ever were, but they are still my own. He didn’t get in the way of the story I wanted to tell, he just helped me say it in a stronger fashion. I’m excited to work with him again on future books.”
P.K. Tyler – Author of the Transgressive Literary Novel WHITE CHALK
“Lane Diamond helped me take my work from acceptable to something I never imagined it could be. His attention to detail, commitment to quality, and dedication to honoring the author’s vision make him the ideal editor. Lane’s insights into character and narrative flow during the editing process of White Chalk were invaluable. I learned a tremendous amount about word choice, phrasing, and how to maintain a reader’s engagement through the use of language. I am a better writer thanks to his tutelage, and look forward to future projects together.”
M.J. Kaufmann – Author of the Upcoming After the Return
Lane works with me as the editor of my first novel. I don’t think “editor” quite describes what he has done with my writing. First, he took some small pieces I wrote and carefully went through them with me line by line. He detailed for me why and how they didn’t work. He complimented the parts he saw that did work. We weren’t even really looking at content but writing, language, POV, and a list of other things that he had color-coded into each document I sent him. He spent hours reviewing my work, talking to me on Skype, teaching me, and guiding me. When I asked him more than a year ago if he thought he could teach me, he made it clear that the question was not if he could teach, but if I could learn. Today, I am working on the first of many novels that I know will see publication. I owe a lot of that to the time and effort Lane spent working with me as a writing coach.
Lane understands a lot of things that every new writer needs to know, and almost none do. There are more than a few professional writers who can benefit from his coaching. He teaches more than just how to improve your writing in terms of language, POV, and eliminating passive voice. He understands the psychology of readers, and teaches you how to engage them. You learn how to view your scenes through a reader’s eyes, so you avoid confusing readers with badly phrased action.
As an editor, keep it strong and direct is his mantra. What does that mean? It means that action scenes pop more, dialogue is more interesting, and the writer stays out of the reader’s way. As a student of Lane’s coaching, this is something you learn, as you also learn:
- How and when to use action inserts;
- The importance of paragraph / sentence structure;
- How to keep the subject first;
- How to lead the dialogue in a way that sets the tone for how the reader will hear your characters.
This is the benefit of having a writing coach. It’s more than just learning to reduce passive voice, and not head hop. Lane uses a series of color-coding mechanisms relating to individual writing problems. He works patiently to educate you on the issues with your writing, one at a time. He provides excellent endnotes on the specific problems, and gives clear guidance that teaches you how to fix them.
Majanka Verstraete – Author of the VALENTINA’S SPOOKY ADVENTURES Series and the WEIRDVILLE Series
“Lane established right away that my main problem while writing is “show don’t tell”. He explained with great patience how I had to show my readers the scene rather tan tell them what happened. He has an amazing eye for detail and manages to improve every single paragraph. His editing stayed true to the story I wanted to tell. Instead of telling me what needed to be changed, he explained to me why something had to be altered. He’s both an editor and a mentor in one package.”
D.T. Conklin – “Writer and Satisfied Client” – Later Lane’s Co-Founder of Evolved Publishing, Author of EULOGY
“Lane Diamond taught me more about writing in six months than a year spent studying in a university. He’s always sure to treat me with respect and dignity, even when I screw up the compound adjective for the tenth time. He’s as much a teacher as an editor, and excels at both with clarity and vision that astounds his clients. Many agents and publishers desire a formula, and Lane works with his clients to be sure they are aware of these requirements–even if the writer decides to break the mold. In the end, I’d recommend Lane over and over again.”
Megan Morrison – “Bringing the Story to Life” – Author of AND THEN IT RAINED and GIRL ENLIGHTENED
“Writing a memoir has been a deeply personal process for me and I was nervous about hiring an outside editor who might take out what I considered the crucial elements. From the very first edit, Lane has kept my story intact, all the while lending the manuscript the critical eye it so desperately needed. I came to him, not a writer, just someone with a story to tell, yet with his gentle coaching — and patience! — I’ve gained incredible insight into the key elements needed to get that story across. I cannot say enough about all I’ve learned from him, and will continue to seek his advice as I move forward with the publishing process and, hopefully, write a sequel.”
“I am new to the writing world and just completed my first romance novel. I was searching for some guidelines so I could edit my story, and I have to thank you for your help. When I decided to write my story, like most new writers, I was so eager to get the words on the page that I didn’t realize there were guidelines, word requirements, or even [dialogue] tags? Your advice is honest and truly helpful. Thank you.”
Dear Mr. Diamond,
I learned of your website from the interiew you did on the podcast, Adventures in SciFi publishing. I am in the middle of my first science-based steampunk western and will be needing an editor (I’m hoping to have it to editing stage by the beginning of June). Do you work with this sub-genre at all and would you be interested in reviewing my book? I am planning to have BookBaby send my book out as an e-book, but do not want it to feel like a self-published book. I hope this will be the start of a series called Steam Herons, with 11 books total. Thank you for considering my manuscript. I researched editors a little, but have not contacted any before you. If I have not provided enough information I will gladly answer any questions you have.
Thank you for your inquiry. As it happens, my indie Evolved Publishing business is experiencing a rapid growth spurt, and I’m in the process of hiring editors and artists to satisfy our rapid growth in authors. This is in addition to managing the process of bringing on those authors, of course.
As a result, it seems unlikely that I’ll be able to take on “side” projects for the foreseeable future. As I said, this is a recent development, and I’ll update this page to indicate that.
Thanks again, and best of luck to you. – Lane Diamond