Testimonials

What writers are saying about Alida.

What have people been saying about Alida’s work?

Finding an editor who can teach you to craft a better story is incredibly difficult. I went through almost a dozen before meeting Alida, and now that I’ve met her I’ll never go anywhere else. She has a knack for pointing out flaws in your story, then discussing methods to fix those flaws.

Her process is easy to understand, incredibly practical, and has taught me so much about craft. I’d easily pay her double what she charges (but don’t tell her that).

Chris Fox

Author, Deathless Series and 5,000 Words Per Hour

I’ve had the pleasure to have Alida as my writing coach for my first novel, a historical piece. Alida is wonderful to work with. Her feedback is critical in a helpful way, but always encouraging. I love talking with her about story—she offers so many insights that I sometimes feel she understands my book better than I do. It’s great to have someone as a sounding board for plot and character problems, but even greater if that someone has a deep understanding of what makes a good story. Several of the methods Alida teaches (like storyboarding) have helped me find out what’s wrong with my work. She’s super patient and always responsive, and she’s also been my biggest cheerleader, encouraging me to keep going with the story, and believing in it when I myself didn’t anymore. This can be invaluable in these early stages as a writer when you are drudging through your first novel and don’t know if you’re ever going to finish it. I couldn’t be happier to have her as a coach, editor and friend.

Anja Bauermeister

Author, Translator, Indies Go German

I had never written a book before. When I sent an early draft to some friends to read they were able to tell which parts they didn’t like, but they couldn’t tell my why or how to fix them. A coworker who had published a few books recommended Alida to me, so I contacted her. She helped me redo everything starting with the outline, to cut out parts that weren’t needed and to add in things that were needed but missing. Her edits were very helpful and gave a lot of specific suggestions on how to improve things. The Skype conversations were very helpful with figuring out exactly what I needed to do. Alida is a great editor, who helped me fill in the gaps in my knowledge and skills so I could become a better writer.

Tom Reeve

Author, Full Coverage

Alida has lifted my stories and writing skills to heights I didn’t know were possible.

Leeland Artra

Author, Endless Horizons Saga

Alida is easy to work with, but provides the honest assessment you need when you’re serious about your writing. For my detective novel, The Perils of Panacea, she scrutinized everything from wardrobe inconsistencies to global story issues, and the story was unmistakably better for it. When I lost my way on my current work in progress, Braving the Boneyard, Alida was able to not only pinpoint where I’d gone wrong, but to also help me figure out how to fix it. I can’t recommend her enough!

Judy K. Walker

Author, The Perils of Panacea

Alida took a manuscript that had been mired in years of conflicting revisions, and cut through all of it with astounding clarity. With her help, not only was I able to make the manuscript the best it could be, but I was able to do so with ease. Alida’s smart, great to work with, and has the best sense of story of any editor I’ve ever met. I consider Alida an essential part of my team.

Mike Stop Continues

Author, Underworld

One of the things I appreciated most about working with Alida on my post-apocalyptic western, The Tilt, was that she always took my vision of the novel into account. She had a logical reason for every suggestion she made, and had me addressing aspects of the novel I hadn’t thought of. Without her, The Tilt wouldn’t have been as well-rounded as it turned out.

Mike Robbins

Author, The Tilt

If you’re anything like most writers, there comes a point where you’re just too close to your work to be an effective editor. You’ve just finished writing and revising (whether for the fifth or fiftieth time) a sure-fire New York Times Bestseller. Every word is a darling. Your friends and family say you shouldn’t change a thing. That’s when you need Alida Winternheimer at Word Essential.

I chose Alida to edit my thriller Chaos for a number of reasons—not least of which were her flexible, customizable packages and reasonable rates. But I’ll use her again in the future for her professionalism, timeliness, superb advice, and editing skill. She’ll put a fine shine on your manuscript and will make sure it’s crackling with tension and electricity. You can also count on her to be every bit as merciless as your work requires—she’ll slay the darlings that need killing to keep your plot rocketing forward.

Thanks to Alida, my manuscript is 15,000 words lighter and is infinitely better than when I first sent it to her. Whether you need a polish, a copy or content edit, continuity check, or a sounding board to brainstorm or flesh out ideas, you can’t go wrong with Word Essential. Alida is beyond excellent and I look forward to working with her on future projects.

DJ Schuette

Author, Chaos

As an author, it’s very difficult to be objective about your own work. As an editor, Alida pushed me to make my Regency romance, The Seventh Season, the best book it could be. With an eagle eye she found plot holes and spotted places where I had been redundant and places where I needed to add more description. During our Skype calls, we worked on fixing those plot holes. It’s helpful to talk to someone qualified to discuss ideas and book structure. Alida is great to work with. Although she pushes you to do your best work, she is never harsh or critical. I know that my book is better for having used her editorial service, and I have signed up for another round with a different book.

Cathy Peper

Author, The Seventh Season

Alida asks great questions that lead me to write better young adult fantasy fiction. She has the education and experience to see both the strong and weak points in my work. It helps me overcome problems while building on what is already good. Alida also gives solid examples to illustrate important points. She knows how to communicate in a way I understand, a way that helps me elevate my writing. She’s a wonderful professional developmental editor, and wonderful to work with as well.

Aldus Baker

Author, The Crown Saga Series

Alida continues to provide invaluable assistance in the creation of my biotech thriller trilogy, Lethal Traits. She definitely took the rough draft of my concept to a higher level. With her direction and encouragement, my development as a writer progressed immensely. Her coaching improved my writing techniques. I found her insights into all the aspects of my story and characters indispensable. I would still be fumbling around in the dark without her. She’s a great coach!

Having published several novels, she completely understands the hurdles facing indie authors. I have worked with Alida for over two years, and highly recommend her to anyone who wants to produce an outstanding novel.

Mark Cherniak

Author, A Blooming Novelist

Alida is a fantastic developmental editor. She took my extremely rough draft and not only pointed out the problems it had, but also taught me how to solve the problems. I’ve learnt so much from her, and thanks to that, I gained the courage to publish my first novella, which is a dark fantasy, The Nutcracker King. Not only that, but I’m using what she taught me to avoid the same problems in the sequel!

Eustacia Tan

Author, The Nutracker King

Alida helped me strengthen my contemporary fiction novel, True Mercy, considerably by reminding me to maintain a consistent point of view, encouraging me to make use of the five senses to enrich my writing, and showing me how to diagram the action of the plot. Her editorial work and teaching ability are outstanding and right on-target for today’s publishing market.

Idelle Kursman

Author, True Mercy

I recently signed on with Alida as my editor and she improved my book immediately. Every discussion has led to making my book better. She’s flexible and easy to work with. She has a great eye for what a story needs. I’m very excited to have her as my editor.

Monica T. Rodriguez

Author, Monica T. Rodriguez

I loved working with Alida on Revenge, my suspense/thriller novel. She provided insights, advice, and alternatives to my story, plot, and characters, all of which I ended up using.  As a beginning writer, she taught me better structure, description, and dialogue as well. I will be using her on my next book.

Henry Scott

Author, The Redemption Series

My epic fantasy series, The Sword That Forged a Man, was good enough to get agents to correspond, but needed professional editing to seal the deal. It takes coaching to clearly see a product that exists in your head translated to the page. I learned more from a one hour, one chapter preview with Alida than months of books and podcasts, and that was just the start. Through the Remington package, she identified my strengths and weaknesses and revealed better ways to get the same story across. Alida is more than an extra set of eyes, she knows what it takes to turn a narration into a story that resonates.

Jason Riou

Author, The Sword That Forged A Man

Learn More About Alida's Editing Services

Learn more about Alida’s various editing services for your fiction and nonfiction work. She’s also an encouraging and insightful writing coach.

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