Cindy Vallar

Author, Columnist, & Editor
P. O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

Thistles
                  & Pirates Logo


Home
About Me
Appearances & Book Signings
Editing Services
E-Books Historical Fiction vs. History My Excerpts: Novels My Excerpts: Short Stories
My Other Writings My Reviews Pirates & Privateers Recommended Books to Read
Research: Favorite Links Research: My Resources Scotland: Clan Cameron Scotland: Highlands Workshop Photos
Scotland: Thistle's Scotland 1 Scotland: Thistle's Scotland 2 Web Rings & Memberships Website Awards
Workshops Contact Me Sign My Guestbook Subscribe to my T&P Newsletter

Editing Service

As a writer it's important to know what other people think of my work, especially before I submit my manuscript to publishers. The more professional the manuscript appears, the better the chance an agent or editor will take me seriously.

During my years of writing, I have often been asked to edit or critique other writers' works. My years as an educator, librarian, reviewer, editor, and writer provide me with the skills and experience to do this and do it well. I write Red Pencil, an editing column for Historical Novels Review, the review journal of the Historical Novel Society. In the past, I was an editor and copy editor for Wings ePress, the short story editor for NovelBooks, Inc., and a content editor for Pyrates Way Magazine.

I offer my editing services to any writer who wants a trained and unjaundiced eye to help improve his/her writing. Any comments I make are offered as suggestions; it is up to the writer to decide whether the advice is worth taking or not. I work with the author to make his/her story or non-fiction piece the best it can be.

What do I do when I edit someone's work? I read the entire manuscript, make line edits (grammar, spelling, punctuation), point out discrepancies (the hero has blue eyes at the beginning of the book, but purple eyes at the end or the hero drives a truck after it's destroyed in a fire), identify passive sentences that should become active, and provide recommendations for what works and doesn't work or where there's too much or too little information given for the reader to understand what the author attempts to convey.

Below are what other authors have said about my edits. If you would like me to edit your work, e-mail me for more information about what I do and what I charge. Unsure whether or not you'd like my help?

I'll be happy to edit your first chapter (up to 5,000 words) for free.
Click on the Thistle to Contact Me.
E-mail

Send it to me in the body of an e-mail or as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format with your request for a free sample. Please identify the genre and audience, and provide a word count of the total manuscript.

Warmest regards,
Cindy
 

Substitute damn every time you're inclined to write very; your editor will delete it
and the writing will be just as it should be. ~ Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)
 

The Red Pencil
Historical Novels Review

An editing column where I compare an author's draft of a work with the published novel

November 2013 Spotlight on: Brock's Traitor by Tom Taylor (PDF - 236 KB)

November 2012 Spotlight on: The Lieutenant's Whistle by Fred Stemme (PDF - 237 KB)

May 2012 Spotlight on: Blood Brothers by E. Thomas Behr (PDF - 191 KB)

November 2011 Spotlight on: The Shadow of the Lamp by Susanne Dunlap (PDF - 3.79 MB)

May 2011 Spotlight on: The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick (PDF - 3.39 MB)

November 2010 Spotlight on: The Fruit of Her Hands by Michelle Cameron (PDF - 1.15 MB)

May 2010 Spotlight on: In the Lion's Mouth by Jean Harrington (PDF - 1.16 MB)

November 2009 Spotlight on: Dream of the Dragon Pool: A Daoist Request by Albert A. Dalia (PDF)

May 2009 Spotlight on: A Secret and Unlawful Killing/Michaelmas Tribute by Cora Harrison (PDF - 815 KB)

November 2008 Spotlight on: Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors (PDF - 563 KB)
Thanks for so much for doing the great piece on Beside a Burning Sea. I just read
your article and thought that it was extremely well done. Bravo.~ John Shors

May 2008 Spotlight on: Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors (PDF - 586 KB)

November 2007 Spotlight on: The Eagle's Prophecy by Simon Scarrow (PDF - 696 KB)

May 2007 Spotlight on: The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan (PDF - 533 KB)
So sensitively covered! Excellent. ~ Faye Turner

November 2006 Spotlight on: Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy (PDF - 870 KB)

May 2006 Spotlight on: Oksana by Susan K. Downs and Susan May Warren (PDF - 606 KB)

November 2005 Spotlight on: The Only Life That Mattered by James L. Nelson (PDF - 547 KB)

May 2005 Spotlight on: There Is a Wideness by Mark McAllister  (PDF - 2.68 KB)
It is superb.  Thank you so much for featuring my book in your debut column. ~ Mark McAllister
 

Articles on Editing

Authorconnect.com's Editor Entry

Online Books on Editing

Divider

What Others Think of My Edits


I found Cindy through the Linkedin Historical Fiction Group, and she offered a free sample of her editing. She does both proofing and content editing. And her samples of both were excellent. I had several technical questions before sending her my manuscript to proofread, and her answers were clear and "spot on." Now that she has completed the proofing of my novel, I remain impressed. She has an in-depth knowledge of grammar, a great attention to detail, and returned my work in a timely manner." (Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, Good Value) Ė Phyllis Haislip, author of The Viscount's Daughter

Cindy is a knowledgeable editor. My experience with her was professional in every way. She took the extra step of providing reasons why something did or didn't work. She offered to provide references for areas of further research. Her work on my present novel was more than an edit, it was an education in writing. That alone was worth the price, and the cost of the edit was more than reasonable. While it might be possible to obtain an edit at lower cost, I doubt it is possible to get one for better value. Nor will you find an editor who is more reliable, and trustworthy. (Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Good Value) Ė Dennis Berry, author of The Rose

I could not have done this without your input, Cindy. You saw this from the very beginning and showed and taught me how to make it so much better. I look back at some early drafts and wonder that you didn't throw it out. I guess your years of teaching enabled you to take a beginning writer and be such a wonderful coach. -- Judith Schara, forthcoming Kindle book Spiral

I just love your comments, and best of all I love it when you pick up 'author intrusion'. I didn't realize how obvious it is and I'm now looking for all the 'she wonders', 'I feel' passages within the text. It's great to learn from the expert.
Glenice Whitting, author of Pickle to Pi

My first editor, Cindy Vallar, was my greatest teacher. She taught me the importance of getting my historical facts correct. Nothing pulls a reader from a story faster than finding something that doesn't belong to the era or hearing dialogue too modern for the time. Through Cindy, I also learned the distinct difference between telling a story or showing a novel.
Ginger Simpson, author

Cindy Vallar offers an excellent editing service. She checks every factual detail, and works on style and character development as well. I know that you would find working with her a most rewarding experience.
Joan Druett, author of the Straddling the World of the Written Word blog

Just a note to let you know how much fun it was to work with you. I've learned much. I thought the process would be painful but it wasn't. It was great.
Rita Thedford, author of Tempted, Wings, winner of the Golden Wings Award for Historical Romance
 

You are the most expert editor Iíve ever work with, and I have been an editor professionally. You miss nothing, dear lady, and itís a true pleasure doing business with you!
Cerise
 

Your wonderful insights and suggestions have opened the doors of my imagination. I'm beyond words. I thought I have done a good job imagining the scene, but I felt I could enhance the experience much more from your feedback. Thank you so much!
Weina

I was looking at your edits and wow you really caught some no noís. Funny Iíve worked with a critique group of six ladies this last year, some published, and no one caught any of the errors you did. I do appreciate your comments.
Tamara Fairchild
 

I wanted to thank you for the great editing you did on my book. It is totally different and more easy to read. I love all the changes.
Tammy Winslett, In Spirit and In Truth
 

I can never express with words my appreciation for your excellent help on this novel. Thank you so much, and thanks for wishing me well with this one.
Margery Harkness-Casares, author of Flood, Drought, and Trudy Pyburn, Wings, Feb. 2007
 

Thank you for your excellent comments on the Dutch story.
Tom D.
 

FINALLY, an editor who edits and teaches at the same time! This is just what I need because you are teaching me to understand the craft, the why's and how's of writing.
Marilyn Morningstar
 

It was a pleasure working with you on Means to an End.  Your suggestions were helpful and made my story stronger.
Carol McPhee, author of Means to an End
 

One of the problems in self-publishing your own book is that you get too close to your own work to do a good copy edit. However, having said that, finding a good copy editor is not easy. I was extremely lucky in getting Cindy Vallar to copy edit my book Holly!! and His Black Coat of Invisibility.  She did an excellent job.
Paul La Violette, Annabelle Publishing
 

Cindy worked well with the authors and website team, without conflict or problems. She always submitted her files on time, without having to be reminded, and produced quality work. She took the initiative, and when she saw something that wasn't editorially correct, she explained why in a clear and concise manner. When editorial differences arose, she worked with her supervisor and the authors to come to the best solution for everyone, without sacrificing the integrity of the work. I highly recommend Cindy Vallar as an excellent editor.
Ruth D. Kerce, Website Director, Novel Books, Inc.
 

Thanks for doing such a terrific job of copyediting.
Lynette Baughman, author of Vegas Centennial
 

I read that the single most difficult relationship in writing is between the author and editor. This concerned me because I'd never written a published work. Cindy surprised me with her patience and flexibility, her expertise and knowledge about things related to writing and publishing. At times I felt that I must be her only customer. She answered all my questions and taught me how to take my work to a professional level. At one point I discovered how difficult it is to have someone critique your labor of love. I really didn't like it when she told me my sentences were passive, or that I'd used the same word five times in two paragraphs, but I saw the value of it. She's made this an enjoyable experience. Thank you, Cindy.
Mark Bogumill, author of KingMaker: Book One - The Swamp Crusade
 

Cindy works with the author as if the author and editor are a team.  She guides with a gentle hand and makes valuable suggestions. Discrepancies are pointed out tactfully and professionally. When I asked questions, her replies were always prompt, courteous and informative. Her attention to detail is a bonus. I learned valuable skills from her and will carry these skills into my future projects. Due to her excellent editing skills, my romantic suspense novel Love Through a Strangerís Eyes has received fantastic reviews and won the Word Weaving Award of Excellence and the prestigious Scribes World Reviewerís Choice Award. Cindy Vallarís knowledge and kindness are a great combination. She is a pleasure to work with and a valuable asset to have on your side. I look forward to working with her on many future projects. Highly recommended.
Jan Springer, Award-winning Romantic Suspense Author, Love Through a Stranger's Eyes, 2003 EPPIE Finalist


Your feedback is exactly what I wanted, and desperately needed to help me discover my unconscious mistakes and then be able to rectify them. Your comments are so clear and straight to the point. I understand exactly what you mean and find myself saying, "Oh, yes, I can see that. Why couldn't I see it before?" It's so hard to find someone like you. So many do not have your insight or sensitivity. These pages will enable me to lift my work up to a much higher level. You are a brilliant critiquer and just the right person to inspire and help writers achieve their dreams.
Glenice Whitting, author of Pickle to Pi, 2006 winner of Illura Press Fiction Quest
 

Thanks so much for all of your editorial support!! and your encouragement!
JoAnn G. Mondowney, author of Hold Them in Your Heart: Successful Strategies for Library Services to At-Risk Teens (Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2001)
 

Did I tell you I think you're an amazing editor?  You must be so busy, yet you gave me so much of your valuable time. I've used many of your suggestions because I could see the improvement to the prose straight away. I've also followed a lot of your recommendations for manuscript format. I'm so fortunate to have gained your help.
Wendy J. Dunn, author of Glyph Award winner Dear Heart, How Like You This?, Metropolis Ink, 2002
 

How can I thank you for such in-depth critiquing? Thanks for the very thorough reading and comments! You pointed out some problem areas that I hadn't noticed, as well as a few I'd considered changing. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and critique this more than I can say.
Virginia Katzeff

Thank you so much for your careful comments. Your points are excellent. As I begin writing my first historical romance I need to focus on the critical points that the reader would be confused by. You have been very helpful in that. I'll consider how to make what you notice work more smoothly. And I really appreciate your sitting down and writing such a great message.
Kate Murphy
 

As usual, Cindy, you've given me a lot to think about! And I love it!! Thanks for the input. I'll definitely look you up for more critiquing.
Kei Swanson, author of The Words of the Pitcher and Seabird of Sanematsu

Many, many thanks. Another head is so good. You have a different approach to synopses and I used all of them. Your comments are most welcome. Thanks again. Everything you said was right-on, and I love it.
Y. L. Harris, critique partner and author of Hindu Kush
 

 

Divider

Articles on Editing for Writers

Avoiding an Editorís Most UN-Wanted List by Tina Morgan
Avoiding Comma Confusion by Moira Allen

Beyond Basic Blunders by Jerry B. Jenkins

Choosing an Editor by Shakirah Dawud
Common POV Errors by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Common Mechanical Pitfalls by Vicki Hinze
Copyediting Shakespeare by Thomas Christensen

Dangling Modifers by Lee Masterson

Editing Made Easy by Lee Masterson

Faceoff: 'he', 'he or she', 'he/she', 's/he' versus 'they' by Catherine Soanes
Finding the Editor for You by Michel Prince
5 Tips on How to Work with an Editor by Mark Nichol
 
A Good Editor -- Don't Leave Home without One by Donnell Bell
Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch


How an Editor Will Make You a Better Writer by Margot Atwell

The Joy of Editing by Jenny Twist

Keep Calm, and Say It Plainly by Malie Lalor

Nice Work--Just Change Everything by Jenna Glatzer


Reasons Editors Reject Manuscripts by Vicki Hinze

See Where They Hide: Spotting Passive Voice by Amy J. Fetzer
Self-Editing by Lori Handeland

Ten Mistakes Writers Donít See by Pat Holt
There's no eHarmony for Finding Editors from the Minnesota Writers' Alliance

What to Look for in an Editor from the Author-Editor Clinic
Working with an Editor by Mark Nichol

 

Online Books on Editing for Writers

The Chicago Manual of Style
The Economist Style Guide
English as She is Wrote

Higher Lessons in English
How to Write Clearly
National Geographic Style Guide
Practical Grammar and Composition

"Stops", Or How to Punctuate
The Yahoo! Style Guide

 
 © 2001-2010 Cindy Vallar


Home About Me Appearances & Book Signings Editing Services
E-Books Historical Fiction vs. History My Excerpts: Novels My Excerpts: Short Stories
My Other Writings My Reviews Pirates & Privateers Recommended Books to Read
Research: Favorite Links Research: My Resources Scotland: Clan Cameron Scotland: Highlands Workshop Photos
Scotland: Thistle's Scotland 1 Scotland: Thistle's Scotland 2 Web Rings & Memberships Website Awards
Workshops Contact Me Sign My Guestbook Subscribe to my T&P Newsletter