Gary Dalkin’s work on my second book, Dead Leaves, was invaluable. He was precise, succinct, with a fine attention to detail. Dalkin guided my story to publication with fair and balanced criticisms and queries, and picked up on things I probably wouldn’t have ever noticed. In short, his sharp critical eye improved my words and my book. An excellent editor.
I have used Gary Dalkin’s editing services for two of my latest novels so far. I have found him to be very pleasant, efficient and professional to work with. I have found him to be especially useful about helping me with details about life in England during the 1960s and 1970s – the period that my novel, Daggers in Men’s Smiles (not yet published) covered. This is because I’m an ex-pat and wasn’t living in England during this period. His detailed knowledge of this period certainly added to the credibility of my writing.
This of course was in addition to his tidying up my somewhat casual use of punctuation and grammar and some of my long, rambling and over-written sentences. Not only did he check the ms very thoroughly, but he also made several very positive suggestions on how I could improve my novel. I will certainly use his editorial services and expertise in the future.
Having become frustrated by a number of copy editors and proofreaders, working with Gary was nothing short of a wonderful experience. He is both extremely proficient at identifying both broad structural issues and simple errors, his keen eye spotting the smallest grammatical problems. He does not shy away from pointing out ways in which improvements can be made, and at no point did I feel that his suggestions were incorrect.
I employed Gary to copy edit and proofread Seek The Throat From Which We Sing. He makes detailed and comprehensive annotations that allow the author to pick and choose the corrections he has made. I expected to feel precious regarding my work, but not only did I accept 99% of Gary’s edits, on a number of occasions I found myself laughing out loud in agreement with his comments.
So often as an author, we cannot see the wood for the trees, ideas can become convoluted and lose impact, and you need someone who has a strong grasp of writing techniques, grammar and structure, whose own passion for literature offers a unique and more importantly, a separate perspective to your own. Gary has all of this in spades.
We worked together over a number of months and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My confidence in my work grew as a result of working with Gary. I could not recommend him more.
On preparing the second edition of our biography of film composer John Barry we contacted Gary to proofread the updated manuscript in light of the considerable changes made to it over the past ten years. He proved to be far more than a proof-reader, by performing a valuable editorial role, in helping us to reshape the text and check the content where necessary.
His task was made all the more difficult, because he had been called in after the index had been finalised. This meant that any requisite changes had to fall within strict parameters already set. What’s more, we needed him to complete the task within a strict deadline, given a tight publishing schedule. He succeeded with days to spare. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Gary to anyone. He quickly grasped our requirements and, during the period of his commission, became an integral part of the team.
Peter Walker – co-author of John Barry – The Man With The Midas Touch
I have worked with Gary on a variety of writing projects for well over a decade now, and right from the outset he established himself as my number one go-to guy, the person to whom I always turn when I need a sound opinion backed up by a wealth of reliable experience. He understands so much about so many facets of writing in the 21st century, from novels to magazines to websites, and what works best in each case. If Gary tells you it’s so, then it really is so.
Gary’s critique of my first novel was both comprehensive and inspiring to me, as the writer. His painstaking attention to every aspect and detail of my work was exceptional. His constructive criticism was clearly laid out chapter by chapter. His suggestions for different wording, different scenarios, deeper tensions within the story were carefully thought out. His professionalism and obvious expertise in his field are offered in a kindly and honest manner. A real pleasure to work with.
I contacted Gary for a developmental edit of my first novel. I had studied eleven how-to manuals for writing fiction and had already reworked the book per responses from beta readers. I believed I had a working story. Gary very professionally pointed out the strengths of the book and then taught me more than all of the manuals on how to step up the quality of the prose, the story, dialog, and the characters.
Gary’s suggestions were well reasoned and very specific to the product I wanted to produce.
I believe he provided more service than required in the scope of our agreement. But when I offered to pay more for his work, Gary declined and held his fee to the proposed amount.
Gary is easy to work with as well as talented and knowledgeable. I especially recommend Gary to US authors, as he clearly pointed out cultural assumptions that don’t cross borders. I very much look forward to working with Gary on my future books.
Gary recently performed a deep edit on booklets for my web site. I found him to be efficient, reliable and reasonably priced. I am delighted with the results.
Despite having to wrestle with a recalcitrant PDF, Gary turned around a 6000 word multi-contributor coffee table picture book in the time promised. He made sure that the text accurately matched the photos, and that entries were consistent in tone and format, and he provided helpful alternative suggestions for overly long or complex sentences. All this plus a thorough proof read to capture wrong spelling, wrong or missing punctuation, and inconsistent capitals. The book was considerably improved after passing through his hands.
I have recently asked Gary to provide editorial guidance on a manuscript for a fantasy novel, and I can fully recommend him for his insightful feedback and industry knowledge. As a professional author, I know that publishing a book of any format is a challenge, and Gary is an editor who can provide realistic guidance as to what is achievable. I have been very happy with the service he provides.
I can highly recommend his proof reading skills and his thorough attention to detail is invaluable, especially when putting on a Literary festival!
Sue Luminati – Founder & Director: Poole Literary Festival & New Media Writing Prize
Gary has proved to be an invaluable resource not only as a proof-reader, but even more so for his advice and support. He has been enormously encouraging when he feels my writing warrants it, and yet he gives me the honesty I need when it hasn’t been up to scratch. I always know that when he reads my work, I can trust him to be very straightforward in his assessment.
Through discussions with Gary, I have been able to really pinpoint the areas in which my writing needs work, and he has helped me come up with new ways of addressing them, even down to making necessary changes in the time and places that I write so as to get the best out of myself. I am deeply grateful for Gary’s advice and expertise.
Stephanie Alford – Space Cadet Creations
I have enlisted Gary Dalkin’s expertise as a music critic and creative writer on several occasions over the past ten. Gary has a keen sense of what makes music ‘work’ and his ability to apply that knowledge as constructive criticism continues to amaze me. His familiarity and understanding of all musical styles is exceptional.
When I consult Gary, I’m certain I will receive educated, non-biased critique and encouragement regarding my compositions, arrangements and recordings. His reviews of my work are always honest, gently candid, and on-the-mark. I look forward to working with him again soon.
Marc Hoffman – film and jazz composer, pianist, vocalist
Gary has a real eye for the big picture and for the detail. When I asked him to edit a website for my consultancy company, he quickly helped structure my (rather random) thoughts about it into something which would work well for my clients. At another level, he found clearer and simpler ways to say the things I was wanting to say. Gary’s advice was always practical – how much text to place on a web page, the best order in which to present information, when something simply didn’t fit, where an additional piece of information would add value and so on. I knew I could trust him to tell me what he really thought and to do it in the nicest way possible.
Brian Wilson – Brian Wilson Associates
Gary Dalkin personifies the traits of the utmost professionalism and exceptional attention to detail as a talented editor, writer and respected critic. His encyclopedic knowledge of the writing craft is staggering; a testament to his ability for accurately honing in on minutiae and producing exemplary results, at speed, across all creative spheres. Gary is always marvellous to work with, being good at instilling faith and reliability in the development process.
Glen Aitken – Composer and album producer
Gary Dalkin, to a writer, is like a conductor to an orchestra. Precise; on time; reliable and inspirational. He makes you feel as though you are the most important person in his life when working with you and has never come close to a frustrated sigh when dealing with inexperience. I would happily recommend Gary to any writer, establish or not, who is looking for sound feedback and help with their work. I look forward to the next time I get to work along side Gary, who takes my projects as seriously as I do.
I very much appreciate your constructive criticism, which I have embraced with the same degree of honesty and reality in which it was given. At the time when I first requested you to review my work, my thoughts were at a crossroads of indecision. Beyond the veneer of my own vanity and pride I knew, but was reluctant to admit, that the work that I asked you to review was ‘not fit for purpose’.
As a direct result of having spoken with you Gary and having read your correspondence with regards to writing in general, you have helped to release a spark in me that has become a flame of enthusiasm and desire that warms me with its glow, and while it’s burning, I won’t ever let go. I look forward to working with you in future.
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