When I met Dave King, I was a struggling, frustrated writer with a couple of unpublished novels and no clear idea how to make them publishable. I shared my manuscripts with Dave, who read them carefully and offered concrete, constructive suggestions for improving my writing and storytelling skills. Thanks in large part to Dave's advice, I now have seven published novels and I'm under contract to write two more. His influence on me was so great that when I'm writing I still hear his voice in my head, telling me what's good and what isn't so hot. Thank you, Dave!

Mark Alpert, author of Final Theory, Extinction and The Furies


I’ve been working with writers and their manuscripts for twenty-five years, aiding scribblers of (mostly) fiction and nonfiction to publish the clearest, most polished versions of their projects. And as a long-time teacher of writing at New York University, I also have a history of mentoring new writers as they hash out their first drafts.

My primary goal in working with any writer is to tailor the approach to the individual’s needs. Some clients bring a manuscript they’ve been nursing for years and require a fresh eye to help them choose where to amplify, where to cut. Some want to talk about global concepts, including pacing, characterization, scene management or thematic development. Some are working to hone basic skills, such as the writing of action or dialogue, and some wish to refine their work at the most basic level, usually through line-editing for style, content and clarity. Of course, many clients request some combination of these services, so that my job falls somewhere on the spectrum between editing, line-editing and writing coach.

I believe my strengths are in reading for clarity and narrative drive; editing for stylistic unity and cohesion; and conceptualizing a work’s global arc. And although I’m best known as a novelist, my first published works were poems. I’ve studied poetry with Richard Howard, Alfred Corn, Marie Ponsot and others and serve on the jury of the Lexi Rudnitski Prize, given for a first book by an American woman poet, so I’m as comfortable discussing poetry as I am prose.

The length of time spent with any manuscript will vary according to the client’s needs and budget, but whatever the project, I seek always to realize the author’s own sensibility and voice, rather than imposing my own.

Note, though, that there are a whole lot of people in the world named Dave or David King. I’m a fan of the Dave King who’s the drummer for The Bad Plus, but I’m not that guy. Nor am I the Dave King who’s a dead British comic or the one who’s a major shareholder in the Rangers Football Club. I’m not the David King who resembled Mick Jagger and for nineteen years lived just a block away from me in the east village. He had an unlisted phone, and I used to get his calls, but every one of them was a wrong number.

More significantly for this note: I am not the Dave King who, with Renni Brown, is the author of the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Nope, never even met the guy.

Please email me at davekingwriter@gmail.com for rates and further info, or to discuss specific projects.

Among the writers I’ve worked with:

Johanna Fiedler, author of Arthur Fiedler: Papa, the Pops and Me and Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music

Mark Alpert, author of The Omega Theory, The Orion Plan, The Six and other thrillers and young-adult books

Eva Mekler, author of Sunrise Shows Late and The Polish Woman, among other books

Stephen E. Goldstone, M.D., author of The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex