So what do we do here at Flourish?
We address the issues in a manuscript that weaken your story, novel, or non-fiction manuscript. Our primary job is not to find typos. Depending on what service we agree on, we'll make notes on your manuscript that will help you understand how to resolve the most significant issues in the writing on a line, paragraph, scene, and story basis. These could be flaws in logic, inconsistencies of fact, or incorrect usage of words. There might be issues with the organization of a paragraph -- or of a whole series of events. Fiction traps we commonly encounter include characterization errors, scene structure, and overuse of exposition, also known as summary narration. We deal with every aspect of the writing, from pacing, tension, purple prose, appropriateness of tone, and unclear tense, to genre requirements, plot structure, and more.
What an editor doesn't do is totally rewrite your story to make it "correct". An editor marks up your text to point out areas that need work, and provides all the guidance you need to fix the problems that exist. Small edits might be made in red for you to agree or disagree with, of course. The difference between an unedited manuscript and an edited manuscript can be quite startling.
We do all this while trying to maintain the author's voice. It's all about making you shine, after all. If there isn't a clear authorial voice at the beginning, then often by the time we're finished, in collaboration with the author, it will have become clear.
In other words, what we do is what the story editors at large publishing houses do, except that those editors only work with writers they've already agreed to publish. We can help all writers who want to become professional develop the chops to achieve that goal. In the short run, the work we do with you will help you improve your story. In the long run, it will make you a better writer. Of course, that requires you to do some work yourself.
Many of our clients have gone on to get published. Several have signed contracts with small presses. One was published by Harlequin, and her novel has been nominated for an award. Harlequin Teen wanted another client's novel, but she had already sold it elsewhere before they got back to her.
The thing is, we really care how you do. We want what you want. That is, we want you to be happy with the finished piece and we hope that readers and publishers, if you decide to submit to them, will like it too.