Getting Started

with Allen R. Kates, MFAW

   As a ghostwriter and book editor, I work with you at any stage of your writing, from inception of the idea to a polished work you can sell.

 Let's take a meeting

   Contact me and, as they say in Hollywood, Let's take a meeting. They also say Let's do lunch, but if you are in Wichita, Kansas, or Paris, France, that may not be practical. A phone call or an email will get us started. 


Kinds of writing 

  • all genres, nonfiction or fiction
  • books, screenplays, short stories, essays, journalism, memoirs, life stories, family histories, autobiographies, oral histories, novellas, plays, biographies, novels, storytelling, current affairs


What I do first

  • read your manuscript and analyze its structure, qualities, techniques and your use of scenes, description, characterization, language, action, dialogue, location, mood, atmosphere, and so on
  • write an analysis that describes the good parts of your story and what needs more work
  • determine who your reader is and your manuscript's market potential
  • if your manuscript is not ready for editing, we discuss what changes you may need to make and how to make them
  • the analysis saves you a lot of time and money


What I do next 

  • when your manuscript is ready, I begin editing
  • apply fiction techniques to nonfiction work to make it more exciting
  • make notes directly on your manuscript, either on your hardcopy or into your electronic file
  • revise, rewrite, smooth out transitions between sentences and paragraphs, improve word choice, fix punctuation and grammar problems, make suggestions

I help you 

  • rearrange the order of scenes so they build on each other with more intensity
  • enrich the characters 
  • heighten conflict
  • apply literary techniques such as humor, irony, foreshadowing, mystery and suspense
  • design the narrative flow 
  • refine the dialogue
  • create setting, imagery, and description


After your manuscript is finished, I help you

  • search for a literary agent, publisher, film or television producer
  • assess multiple ways of publishing such as Print on Demand, self-publishing, e-books


                      "Allen taught me pacing and timing. Most important,
                       he taught me to keep it simple and believable and not
                       overwrite; embrace the reader, make him a partner
                       in your endeavor.

                      "As an editor, Allen Kates is the real deal."

                            —David Platt, novelist, author of The Sculptress and The Girls' Club

Request a Sample of Work I've Edited 

   Please contact me if you would like to read a sample of work I've edited. Indicate if you would like to see nonfiction, fiction or academic work.

To contact Allen, please click here.

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