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How to Become an Editor and Be Amazing

Structural Editor

To become a story editor is not easy. You owe it to writers to learn how to edit a story before you take money from anyone.

Just because a person writes a novel, doesn’t mean they can edit a novel.

Here are some soul searching questions to ask yourself.

What type of editor do you want to be?

This is an important question to answer. Being a story editor versus a copy editor versus a proofreader (which is not really an editor) requires very different skills. You can find an in-depth description of the editing types here.

I’m going to talk about becoming a story editor as that’s my area of expertise.

A story editor is a structural editor for long-form fiction.

Why do you want to become an editor?

I’m an editor because I love working with writers and helping them tell a better story. Editing a novel from a high-level perspective is mind candy for me. I love to puzzle out the issue.  You’ll have your own reasons, but it’s important to know them. You have to spend a lot of time on a full-length novel, so it’s important enjoy it, but also to do it with purpose.

How can you practice story editing?

If you have writer friends, you can offer to edit their manuscript for free and then ask for their feedback on your edit. It’s best if you can find a writer who as worked with an editor before, so they know what a story editor should provide.

You can take the Fictionary Certified Story Coach training.  To get certified, you get the opportunity to edit a full manuscript and you’ll get feedback on that edit. You’ll prove to yourself that you’re up to this job, that you love it, and that you have a talent for it.

Where to get training?

Oddly enough, it’s hard to find training that teaches you to become a story editor. I’ve taken a few university courses on structural editing and found they mainly focussed on non-fiction and only gave a nod to fiction. The courses didn’t give me the opportunity to edit a full novel.  This is why I put together the Fictionary Certified Story Coach training.

The more manuscripts you edit, the better you’ll get at it. I learn something from every edit I do. Every writer surprises me.

What do you deliver?


Story Editing Tip


A great editor has a positive style of coaching. You give encouragement along with critiques.

Part of being an exceptional editor means teaching the writer how to revise their story based on the advice you’re giving them.

Being objective instead of subjective allows you to let your client’s voice shine, and this helps produce stories that give the world’s readers a diversity of choice. You must ensure you don’t overly influence your client to write the story you want to write.

You’ll give your client specific advice that tells them what to do next. Vague advice is not helpful and can leave your client confused. When you give advice, your client  needs action they can take to make their story powerful.

You’ll focus on the big picture first and then on the details. The Fictionary Story Elements gives you a methodical process for both and ensures you don’t miss any key areas.

Fictionary Certified StoryCoach training offers you a way to become an editor and be one of the best.


A Fictionary StoryCoach helps writers tell a powerful story and makes the writer’s voice shine! You can now try Fictionary StoryCoach for editors for free!

And there’s more. The Fictionary Certified StoryCoach training is available.

Do you want to become a Fictionary Certified StoryCoach? Check out Fictionary Certified StoryCoach Training.

If you’d like to take the training, send me (Kristina) an email at [email protected] telling me why you’d like to become a Fictionary Certified StoryCoach, and I’ll give you a discount.

The Fictionary StoryCoach Certification training program  helps editors deliver a comprehensive and objective editorial package using StoryCoach software.

We developed this training for two reasons.

  • The first is for fiction editors to have a place to learn how to perform a high-quality story edit, get certified, and then have a tool (StoryCoach) that helps them perform exceptional story edits.
  • The second is for writers to know they are dealing with a professional editor who understands story when they hire a Fictionary Certified StoryCoach.

For more on story coaching check out:  What is a Story Coach?

Free trial