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ED MCDONALD

THE RAVEN'S MARK

Author

eddmcdonald

I am a fantasy fiction writer and historical European martial arts enthusiast. I spend my days reading about swords, writing about people swinging swords and swinging swords at people. Find me at www.edmcdonaldwriting.com ! Like my page at https://www.facebook.com/edmcdonaldauthor/ Follow me on Twitter!

ECM Creative Ltd Editing Services

ECM Creative Ltd, the company that owns the rights to BLACKWING, RAVENCRY and CROWFALL, is now offering manuscript structural editing services to fantasy writers.

Details on how to get in touch are given at the bottom of the page. Please read the contents of the page carefully before requesting a manuscript critique.

What types of editing are available?

  • Package 1: Cover letter and synopsis review
  • Package 2: Cover letter, synopsis and first 50 pages critique
  • Package 3: Full manuscript structural edit

Examples are provided at the bottom of the page.

All manuscripts must be in English.

Cover Letter, Synopsis & First 50 pages

Agents typically ask for these three things. These packages are intended to bring your letter, synopsis and the all important first fifty pages to the requisite standard.

If you are interested in these packages, please indicate whether you are pitching to UK or US agents. If you are pitching to a specific agent only then please indicate who.

What is a Structural Edit?

A structural edit deals with characters, plot, pacing, narrative voice and other storytelling elements. ECM Creative Ltd does not conduct full line edits (changing individual lines, sentence structure etc.) except on the first fifty pages in package 1 and 2, and does not offer a copy edit service (finding missing punctuation, correcting incorrectly spelled words etc.) although the editor may make alterations on the manuscript anyway. A structural edit deals with the story elements only. If you are looking for someone to check spelling, grammar and so on then this is not the service for you.

For a structural edit you will receive several thousand words of notes from a traditionally published author, who will be advising on aspects such as characterisation, pace, key themes, atmosphere and so on.

This is a service intended for those who are keen to traditionally publish or self publish, and are looking for professional quality developmental feedback on story issues.

Work that will be accepted for Package 1 and 2:

  • Adult  or YA speculative fiction of any kind

Manuscripts that will be accepted for Package 3:

  • Secondary world fantasy
  • Post apocalyptic with fantasy elements

A submitted manuscript must fit into one of the above genres. YA or adult fiction only, no middle grade or children’s books can be accepted.

FAQ: Why won’t you read urban fantasy/sci-fi/horror/anything else?
The skillset of the editorial team positions ECM Creative Ltd to offer a professional, first rate service within the genres listed above.

Manuscripts will not be read if they feature:

  • Graphic sexual violence
  • Material of an obscene nature
  • Graphic scenes of excessive and prolonged torture or cruelty

In the event that a submitted manuscript features any of the above, or anything that would cause it to be deemed ‘an obscene publication’ the editorial team will cease reading the material and return the manuscript, annotated to the point at which the obscene material appears. In the event that this occurs, no refund will be given.

Heads getting cut apart with an axe in a battle is totally fine. Torture porn is not. Mild references are fine. Three chapters of someone getting slowly put through a mincing machine are not. The editorial team has a fairly strong stomach, and will endeavour to read everything that is sent, but use your judgement.

FAQ: Will your feedback be supportive?
It will be practical. It will be useful. It will be aimed at making your book as publishable and readable as possible. It will always be phrased kindly, but if the editorial team thinks telling you to cut the first 15,000 words is the best thing for your book then they will. If they have to tell you that the plot makes no sense, they will.

Prices

Package 1

Cover letter, synopsis and first 50 pages:

For a full structural edit:

Manuscript Length Price (inclusive of V.A.T.)
Cover letter and synopsis only £75
Cover letter, synopsis and first fifty pages £150
Manuscript up to 60,000 words (full manuscript) £400
Manuscripts longer than 60,000 words £410 base rate + £5 for every 1,000 words thereafter

Returning clients will be offered a 10% reduction in fees for the same manuscript, submitted within 1 calendar year.

FAQ: I don’t have much money, are prices negotiable?
They are not.

Turnaround

This will be discussed on a case by case basis, depending on the work load and time limitations on the editorial team. Before submitting you will be given an estimate of the time scale.

  • For cover letter and synopsis only, this will typically be turned around in 1-3 days.
  • For cover letter, synopsis and fifty pages, around one week.
  • A typical manuscript turnaround time for a 60,000 to 100,000 word manuscript would typically be 14 days.

Making Payment

Payment must be made in advance of the review, via bank transfer to ECM Creative Ltd. The registered company details can be found here:

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10470304

FAQ: Can I ask for a sample of editing before I pay?

This is not something that the company is able to offer.

Areas of Focus

If there are particular aspects of a manuscript that you are interested in hearing about, then please let us know and we will do our best to provide as much insight into those aspects as possible, alongside the general review.

That sounds great, how do I begin the process?

Send an email to: grimdarkcritique@gmail.com outlining what you are looking for, and leave a comment below, and you will be contacted as soon as we are able to.

Covering letter – Edited Example

Example Edited Chapter 1 Page

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The concept of success & writing

It is a strange thing to think about success, and what it means. In this blog I will attempt to explain a little about how I’ve come to think about the concept and what it really means to me now, at the end of my debut year. This is long, introspective, and full of pop-psychology.

Continue reading “The concept of success & writing”

Writing Compelling Fight Scenes – Analysis of Hector vs. Achilles, Troy

What epic fantasy fan doesn’t look forward to the big confrontational moments? I know, right? But one of the biggest mistakes I used to make as an aspiring author was getting confused about what it is that I was really enjoying in a fight or battle scene. In this blog, I’m going to use the fight between Hector and Achilles in the 2004 movie Troy to illustrate what it is that makes a story-fight work so well for the audience.

Continue reading “Writing Compelling Fight Scenes – Analysis of Hector vs. Achilles, Troy”

Grinding Ideas

Writing processes: everyone’s is different. What works for one may not work for others. It’s always best to be ultra-cautious when giving out ‘writing advice,’ since you don’t know whether what you suggest might actually be damaging to someone’s own methods, or might be taken as gospel when it’s only a suggestion. So rather than advise, this is just what I do, and what seems to work for me.

Continue reading “Grinding Ideas”

Updates – CROWFALL & new project

Some various updates from the Misery and/or my brain, however those divide.

Continue reading “Updates – CROWFALL & new project”

Abandoned Projects – 3

The third in my series of blogs about abandoned novels. This one involves a ship and wizards.

Continue reading “Abandoned Projects – 3”

Writing what’s real in fantasy

This year I’ve had difficulty getting to grips with writing a new series. I’ve written about 100k worth of false starts, not including 50k of a story that I’ve since abandoned. I couldn’t work out what was wrong with me: all I had to do was come up with a world, some people with swords, some conflicts and that was it, right? But nothing ever felt quite right.

This week I worked it out.

Continue reading “Writing what’s real in fantasy”

19 Months

So, I guess this doesn’t have much to do with writing. It’s about life and mental health. Just a bit of personal honesty, maybe.

Continue reading “19 Months”

Abandoned Projects – 2

So here’s the second of the books that I started working on but ultimately abandoned. This one features a female protagonist and is written in third person. Below, I provide my reasoning as to why this didn’t ultimately work as the first chapter of a book.

Continue reading “Abandoned Projects – 2”

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