It’s a totally fair question to ask who I am, and by what right I can claim to be able to help others with their writing.
My name is Jason Black. I was born between Apollo 11 and the breakup of The Beatles. I live in Washington State, in a suburb outside of Seattle, with my wife and two young children whose future college educations I'm hoping you’ll help me pay for. I'm a computer geek, a local-food enthusiast, occasional gardener, ardent PNWA supporter, monthly contributor to PNWA's Author Magazine, and die-hard NaNoWriMo participant.
Click the categories on the left to learn more about my background. If you’re shopping around—and you should—it’s a good idea to make sure you find an editor’s background suitable for your project. You can also read what other satisfied customers have to say about me.
Like many people, I took my share of creative writing classes in college. Since then I have gone on to practice creative writing extensively and in many formats. I have written short creative pieces for the web, novel-length works, and some in between. I have struggled with the elements of plot, character development, and style as much as any author. I have wrestled with choosing what point of view works best for a novel, and with how different ways of conveying story elements affect the reader’s perception of the characters.
I have read extensively in different genres, often with the explicit goal of learning the dos-and-don’ts of them. I have developed a good ear for genres from fantasy to science fiction to thrillers to literary mainstream. I have read more books on creative writing—some great, some not-so-great—since leaving college than I ever did while in school. You’ll find some of my favorite lessons from these scattered in the sidebars throughout this site.
Through all of that I have developed a keen sense for what works in fiction as well as what doesn’t. Further, I have participated in a number of writing critique groups, including online groups where I have had the experience of directly applying my analytical skills to rougher, unpublished material. As it turns out, I’m good at it. I have a knack for finding the trouble-spots, as well as the personal experience and the book-learning to offer constructive suggestions for fixing them.
I’ve spent plenty of time in and around the publishing industry (one novel published, so far) to know what book agents and publishing houses are looking for. I’ve been there. Request a free proposal for how I can help you get there too.
I hold a Bachelors degree in Technical Communication from the University of Washington. Although the skills I learned in college lend themselves most naturally to work in academic and technical fields, the same organizational, analytical, and wordsmithing skills apply to non-fiction writing in any subject area.
While education is important, practice still makes perfect, and I practice non-fiction writing on a regular basis. I am a regular contributor to a local political blog, The Advocate. In my capacity as Research Director at the Northwest Progressive Institute, I engage in exactly the same type of writing as is required for non-fiction book proposals: writing aimed at persuading the reader towards a particular point of view, supported by evidence gained through research, presented in a logical and compelling fashion. I can apply these skills equally well to a book proposal as to a position paper on one of NPI’s environmental or sustainability issues.
Request a free proposal for how I can enhance your book proposal or manuscript
I hold a Bachelors degree in Technical Communication from the University of Washington. I chose to major in Technical Communication because, while I can do the math required by various science and engineering disciplines, what I most enjoyed was writing the term papers.
After graduation, I spent roughly fifteen years as a professional in the field of software documentation. Creating great software documentation is largely the process of bridging the communication gap between software designers and the less technially savvy readers who need their information. That experience allowed me to hone both my writing and editing skills on lengthy, in-depth material of a very technical nature.
My hands-on experience in this field, together with my formal training, has made me very adept at bringing clarity to complex ideas and information that people with an engineering mindset have trouble expressing in layman’s terms. Request a free proposal for how I can do the same for your thesis or other technical writing as I was able to do with the often cryptic specs produced by the software designers and developers I worked with.
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