Welcome to the cyber home of Jodie Renner, author and independent editor.

Welcome!

Let’s take your fiction to the next level!

Welcome to the cyber-home of Jodie Renner, independent editor, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author. I specialize in editing fast-paced, popular fiction.

WRITING GUIDES

I’m the award-winning author of three “editor’s guides to writing compelling fiction,” Captivate Your Readers, Fire up Your Fiction, and Writing a Killer Thriller, available in print and e-book formats. These books are all highly scannable and reader-friendly, with lots of bolded subtitles and before-and-after examples. They’re designed to help busy writers get in, find what they want, and get back to their writing, quickly and effortlessly.

CAPTIVATE YOUR READERS is all about engaging readers through techniques like deep point of view, showing instead of telling, avoiding author intrusions, and generally letting the characters drive the story. This book has won several awards, including a Silver Medal in the Florida Authors & Publishers Book Awards for 2015.  Available in trade paperback or e-book form. Print: $11.99 USD; 14.99 CAD. E-book: $2.99.   Amazon.com Amazon.ca   Amazon.co.uk

FIRE UP YOUR FICTION  – Multi-award-winning guide to revising and editing your novel so it zings. “This should be on the booklist for Master’s Programs in Writing for Publication.” ~ Judge, Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards for 2013.  Available in trade paperback or e-book form. Print: $11.99 USD; 14.99 CAD. E-book: $2.99.   Amazon.com  Amazon.ca   Amazon.co.uk

WRITING A KILLER THRILLER – Essential strategies for supercharging your stories! Respected editor Jodie Renner offers indispensable advice for adding tension, suspense & intrigue to any work of fiction. Available in trade paperback or e-book form. Print: $11.99 USD; 14.99 CAD. E-book: $2.99  Amazon.com   Amazon.ca   Amazon.co.uk

Also, look for my handy, time-saving, clickable e-resources, QUICK CLICKS: WORD USAGE – Precise Word Choices at Your Fingertips and QUICK CLICKS: SPELLING LIST – Commonly Misspelled Words at Your Fingertips (American spelling), which you can read on your e-reader, computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can also purchase the clickable PDF version for $2.99 (or both for $4.99) by emailing Jodie at info@JodieRenner.com.

I’ve also compiled and edited two anthologies for charity, VOICES FROM THE VALLEYS – Stories & Poems about Life in BC’s Interior, with proceeds to Doctors Without Borders, and CHILDHOOD REGAINED – Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers, with proceeds to SOS Children’s Village. Childhood Regained is also available in school editions (for grades 4 to 9), along with a teacher’s guide. For more info on the school editions, go to the For Teachers page. These anthologies are all available in trade paperback and e-book form.

Although I have cut back significantly on public writing-related activities, in the past I have judged many short stories for contests, including several times for Writer’s Digest, and have presented numerous workshops to writers’ groups and at writers’ conferences on various techniques for writing compelling fiction, as well as tips for editing and publishing your own book.

EDITING

I’m now only accepting novels of up to 95,000 words. I’ll continue to offer detailed critiques and edits of up to 50 pages (up to the first 12,500 words) of a novel and will also continue to edit short stories and novellas.

What I continue to focus on: If you’re looking for someone to help you create an intriguing, engaging opening, bring your characters and scenes to life, add more tension, suspense and intrigue, pick up the pace, smooth out your prose, and tighten up your writing, you’ve come to the right place!

Not only that, I’ll address any “head-hopping” and other point-of-view issues, point out too much “telling” where there should be “showing” in real time, flag any plot holes, consider character motivations and decisions, alert you of any time-sequence discrepancies, and ferret out those lurking logistic issues you may not have noticed as you were busy crafting your story.

And finally, I’ll go over your manuscript with a fine-toothed comb to check for logical sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

Scroll down for more specifics on what I look for when I’m editing fiction. Also, visit the Editing and Testimonials pages.

*****

“Jodie Renner is the real deal. In a world awash with sketchy advice for writers, Jodie cuts through the darkness with the piercing light of her expertise. Her editing, advice, and suggested revisions are concrete, practical, and produce compelling prose. Jodie skillfully helped me navigate from the shores of my nonfiction through the treacherous waters of thriller writing. She helped me take a manuscript that was not ‘there’ yet to one that was. I feel fortunate to have found her and look forward to working with her on my next project.”

Peter Eichstaedt, Sept. 19, 2014, journalist and author of thriller, Borderland. www.petereichstaedt.com

*****

“Jodie Renner is a 5-star thriller editor with the eye of an eagle and the skill of a surgeon. She goes beyond copy and line editing to target even the most elusive content issues. A pleasure to work with—highly recommended.”

~ Lynn Sholes & Joe Moore, Dec. 2012, #1 Amazon and international bestselling authors of The Phoenix Apostles and The Grail Conspiracy

J0die’s blogs: Resources for Writers; The Kill Zone (alumna); Crime Fiction Collective (alumna)

Click here to visit Jodie on Facebook and Twitter

Jodie Renner’s Amazon Author Page

Why pay for a freelance editor, anyway?

Here’s what Andrew E. Kaufman, bestselling thriller novelist, has to say about the importance of using the services of an editor:

This is an extremely important point and one I can’t stress enough. It doesn’t matter how good a writer you think you are. After numerous rewrites of a manuscript (which is just as important), you are too familiar with your work and have lost all objectivity.

An editor with a fresh and critical eye will bring things to your attention you never knew existed, both developmentally and in the line/copy editing. These are the people who will help bring a novel to the next level. I consider their work to be an invaluable part of the process.

And for those who say they can’t afford to hire one–I say you can’t afford not to. If you’re serious about selling your book, then this is a step you simply must take.

~ Andrew E. Kaufman, www.AndrewEKaufman.com

JODIE RENNER’S FOCUS WHEN EDITING A FICTION MANUSCRIPT

Here are a few of the many issues I look at and advise on in all my fiction editing:

Opening:

Is the first page compelling? Does it hook the reader in quickly? Does it introduce your protagonist? Does it situate the reader as to Who, What, Where and When, so they can quickly get into your story world and start enjoying your story?

Characterization:

Is your protagonist likeable, smart, resourceful, and strong enough to appeal to your readers, but with vulnerabilities and inner conflict? Are your main characters complex and three-dimensional, or flat and predictable, cardboard cutouts? Do your characters develop through the course of the novel? (Is there a good character arc?) Are their motivations clear and plausible?

Point of view:

Is most of your story anchored in the viewpoint of your protagonist? Is each scene in one character’s point of view? Or is the viewpoint hovering above or ping-ponging among your characters, all in one scene (“head-hopping”)?

Plot and Scene Structure:

Do you have an inciting incident and a main story problem/question? Is there enough conflict? Do you have tension on every page, with rising stakes and ongoing complications? Are the scenes well-written and well-structured? Is the climax nail-biting? Is the ending satisfying? Do you have plot holes that need to be identified and plugged? Are there inconsistencies, discrepancies, or illogical actions or events that need to be addressed?

Style and Pacing:

Does your prose meander along, trying to find its way? Is it awkward, too wordy, or overly erudite? Or is it clear, tight and compelling? Does your pacing fit the genre? Do you vary the pace, depending on the scene?

Dialogue:

Does it sound natural, like people in that milieu really talk? Does each character speak a little differently? Or do your characters all sound like the author or university professors?

Logic and continuity:

Do you have sudden unexplained changes or discrepancies in characters, time sequences, and other circumstances? Do all the plot details make sense? Are your characters’ actions and reactions logical and believable?

Grammar, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, spelling, and typos:

I’ll help you smooth out awkward or overly wordy phrasing to create a better flow of ideas. I’ll add the final polish to make your story publish-ready. I’ve been called “a precise grammar queen.” I know my stuff but won’t let correct English stifle your style or voice – this is fiction, after all, not a doctoral dissertation!

Please click here to read testimonials from authors on my editing and critiques.

For tips on taking your fiction to the next level, as well as useful links, see my Resources page.

For more information about Jodie, visit the About Jodie page.

Let’s work together to enhance and empower your writing — and get your book published!