Figure out how to make your story come alive for your reader


If you have a complete draft but don’t know if it’s “good enough” ...

If your writing is technically correct, but you want to make your story come alive for your reader  ...

If you want to make your story something you’re proud of ...

a Beat Level Diagnostic can help.

Leslie helped me see growth opportunities, but also my strengths. Because of her help, my novel has developed into something truly amazing that I just wouldn’t have accomplished on my own.
— Alysia Seymour, author of The Raven Dreams
Alysia Seymour testimonial for Leslie Watts.

Traditional copyediting is about correcting mistakes without taking into account the writer's intent or how to best tell the story.

Why is that?


Most editors evaluate writing by applying their intuition and strict rules. The problem with this is that their feedback tends to be general or based on their own preferences: as the writer, you won’t necessarily understand whether the advice applies to your story and individual style. 

It's Your Story.

I've studied the principles of writing for more than twenty years, and I understand how to use the tools (for example, word choice, syntax, and punctuation) to produce certain effects. But I can't help you do that by simply correcting grammar and awkward sentences. I need to understand what the experience you're trying to create.

That's why I read your manuscript and then talk with you about your intentions for the story. Then I provide a thorough line edit of 25 pages, along with a detailed written review explaining your particular challenges and offering guidance on how to apply the lessons learned to the rest of your manuscript. 

Here's the bottom line: Writing is not an exact science or a mystical gift, and enforcing grammar and usage rules blindly won't necessarily produce a better story. 

If your draft isn't where you want it to be, I can show you how to practice the craft, become a better writer, and create a story you’re proud of, through a Beat Level Diagnostic.



A Beat Level Diagnostic includes the following:


  • Written Analysis of Your Manuscript
    I'll read your manuscript and explain your particular challenges, why they're problematic, how to spot them, and your options for tools to strengthen your writing. This is a deep dive into your manuscript, analyzing what works and what can be improved.


  • A One-Hour Phone Consultation
    We’ll discuss your intentions for the story and answer your questions. You’ll leave the call with a clear idea of your specific challenges and strategies to overcome them.


  • A Thorough Line Edit of 25 Pages of the Manuscript
    I’ll apply my understanding of your intentions for the story and my knowledge of writing principles to perform a thorough line edit of 25 pages of your manuscript.


  • A Next Steps Recommendation Letter
    Every writer is at a different place in their journey. I’ll provide personalized next steps you can take to level-up as a writer.

  • Masterwork Scene
    I'll analyze a scene from a book with writing you love to help you understand what brings it alive for you. Rather than copying another writer's style, you can use the tools of writing to create the same effects in your own stories.


Investment: $1,497

(for up to 80,000 words)


My promise to you

I promise that at the end of this process, you’ll have a clear understanding of the level of your current manuscript and the best steps you can take to move forward and make your writing come alive.

A Beat Level Diagnostic is a deep dive into your writing and takes time, so I work with a limited number of authors per month.

Schedule a free 30-minute call to talk about fitting you in.



Don’t stay stuck with another draft

that never turns into the book you want it to be.

Noah Dueker testimonial for Leslie Watts.
I’m so grateful for all the advice Leslie provided. This is my first foray into writing a novel and hearing professional editing advice at this early stage is truly priceless.
— Noah Dueker, author of Forgotten December

Let's talk about your Beat Level Diagnostic.