My Writing-Editing Service

I write. I do Zen. I play the bamboo flute. I live in the stunningly beautiful Pacific Northwest.

My essays, fiction and poetry have so far appeared in about fifty magazines and journals in the US, Europe and Japan. One of my short stories was published in a bestselling international anthology.

I also work as an editor, ghostwriter and manuscript consultant. I’ve been doing this steadily for about fifteen years. During that time I’ve written essays, articles, book chapters, business plans, white papers, brochures, web copy, reviews . . .

My past clients include Harvard and M.I.T. professors, non-profit foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation, and corporations such as Nokia and Cisco. Why not contact me for a free consultation and estimate?

A Note on the Cell Structure of Narrative

It seems that every satisfying narrative, fiction or nonfiction, contains each and all of these elements:

THE OBJECT OF DESIRE: The object that provokes an actor to action.

THE OBSTACLE AND/OR THREAT: That which stands between the actor and the success of the action.

THE DEFINING MOMENT: The moment in which the actor does something absolutely irrevocable, no turning back.

THE BREAKTHROUGH: The immediate consequences of THE DEFINING MOMENT.

THE AFTERMATH: The meaning of the action fully revealed and/or understood.

Note that the actor in a narrative is not always the same creature as the “character” in fiction — although often it is.


Letting the Serpent Out of the Box

As an editor I’ve tried to be a good friend to other writers, to learn from them, and to encourage their work wherever and whenever I can.

Not only do I work professionally in “manuscript development” — I sometimes help other people develop their own manuscripts, as a sort of “writing coach.”

Some of my coaching ideas are absurdly simple, such as printing out everything you want to put in your book and placing the pages in a box, and keeping the box on display so that you can see an idea gradually taking physical form. Or writing fast for only 20 minutes rather than slowly and painfully for 2 hours (this one works beautifully). Or doing 5 minutes of rapid automatic writing to warm up and generate raw material before starting on a structured piece. I’ve got tons more.

Anyway, since this page exists to promote my “writing industry,” here is a testimonial from my friend Vinny, whose first published novel had a long, painful and bloody birth. I met Vinny in Belize at the 3rd Annual Zoetrope Short Story Writer’s Workshop in 1999 (this at a time when neither he nor I had yet gotten anything of ours published) and was so taken by his raw energy and brilliance that I vowed to do whatever might be in my power to make sure he finished his book:

“I wish to give special recognition to a writer who has been my catalyst, my editor, and my mentor. Andrew L. Wilson believed in me, encouraged me, advised me, and guided me like no other human being. Without him, this novel would simply not exist. Every writer deserves such a friend.” -Vincent L. Carrella, in the Acknowledgments for SERPENT BOX

Playing It Like the Duke

Here is a page displaying some of the key policy reports I’ve worked on for Carnegie Corporation over the last few years:

Carnegie Council for Advancing Adolescent Literacy

This type of work I call “writing media development” because it involves much, much more finesse and style than just “rewriting and/or editing.” How so?

It involves listening. It involves creative imagination. It involves “lateral thinking.” It involves being willing to go back and forth over the project on both the micro and macro levels until the result satisfies everybody who was ever involved in it completely.

Make no mistake, it’s an exhilarating challenge to streamline a sometimes sprawling assortment of written material into a tightly focused key policy report. After all, the point is to communicate important ideas. So the text must become almost invisible.

I’m not the idea person. I work with the idea people to make their ideas work as written media creations.

It’s like Hong Kong tailors say: the suit should look like it just dropped onto the body. Cutting and stitching disappear into the suave finished product. All this requires a quick, light touch and a cool head.

As Duke Ellington said about playing jazz, “First, cultivate an attitude of nonchalance.”

I am grateful to the redoubtable Andrés Henríquez, the heart and soul of these reports, not only for his passionate advocacy of adolescents in our schools but also for giving me the opportunity to do such interesting and consequential work.

Duke Ellington caught in a nonchalant moment

The Demon Mask of Writing

This is a still from one my favorite movies: Onibaba.

That has nothing to do with this page, however, which exists to promote my writing industry.

By writing industry I mean the making of money by writing. I’ve been doing it for about ten years.

My writing industry extends to rewriting, editing and ghostwriting. Even “manuscript development” and “writing coaching.” See: Onibaba Custom Writing Media Development.

Why should you hire me? Because I can write wonderful and exciting stuff, blaze through an editing job with excellent results like nobody else alive, and turn dull prose into diamond-sharp brilliance. Why else?

Apart from the writing industry, what? I do Zen. I play the shakuhachi flute. I live in a remote place.

I’ve written at least ten novels, and published none. I have five or six more coming along. More on that here.