My Autobiographical Love Affair...with Writing and EditingI might have been the first fan-fiction writer in the world. I took my first characters from a book I read in fourth grade and then wrote a continuing story. I loved writing, even as an eleven-year-old boy in a country school, with only thirteen children in fourth grade. We shared a classroom with third grade. As you can imagine, while the teacher was busy with the third graders, she had us reading, writing, or otherwise staying quiet while she gave instructions and lectured to the third graders. So, I loved the book, The Four Story Mistake, and I didn't want it to end, so while our teacher was busy with the other grade, I filled a spiral notebook with the continuing story. That was fifty-five years ago, so you could say I've been a writer since grade school.
One of my cousins (near my age) and I wrote another story, which we both remember to this day (they say long-term memory doesn't fail when you're getting older nearly as much as short-term memory), even though we're dangerously close to being senior citizens. The story was called "The Three-Toed Killer," about an animal of some scary sort that we made up. Her father was impressed with our effort. We were impressed with our story, too. We actually finished it, and we didn't get into cousinly fights or spats during the whole day we spent on it.
So, I want to edit your book. I'm working independently these days, no longer part of an "editing factory." Your work can be very well edited in a technical sense from one of those places, but it will never achieve how it feels to arrive late at night at a relative's house during Christmas and step out of the car to be greeted shyly by cousins you haven't seen for a couple of years, taken upstairs to their strange rooms, or play Hide and Seek on a balmy summer night when the adults have gone indoors to visit and have coffee. The editor and the writer need to work together, closely, rather than be separated by a corporate factory wall. The editor and writer need to develop a working relationship like my cousin and I had that day long ago, until we are both impressed with the story.