is built on
both words and relationships.
I became an editor and writer because I love being playful with words. I’ve stayed because I love working with people—and, together, creating meaningful communication.
I work with individuals, businesses and organizations, and publishing houses | on creative, business, and academic documents | at all stages of project development.
My favorite testimonials come unsolicited from clients as we’re working together. Here are some of those.
Am I a Good Match for You and Your Project?
Do you have an idea that needs developing, a draft that needs polishing, fresh perspective and an extra set of hands to help your team complete a project, a deadline, a goal?
Are you excited about your project? Is it important, fun, interesting—or any number of positive adjectives?
Friends and family ask if I’m “working on anything interesting right now,” and I always say yes. I fill my schedule with a variety of clients, projects, and stages of development, and my clients recognizing the value of their work imbues my work with meaning too.
You read the thoughtful words that some of my clients have said about working with me. Here are a few more clients I’ve supported, projects I’ve worked on, and other related activities.
(CLR+/I’ve given a variety of readings and presentations, including at Powell’s City of Books, Portland Central Library, the Portland Audubon Society, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Portland State University, and for almost 100 people when my book launch got booted last-minute due to a Covid surge to Zoom./
I was creator, host, researcher, writer, The She-Ra Solution (monthly KBOO radio feature on lesser-known influential women of the past and present)
I’m Team Lead, Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET, commonly known as CERT)
I was an Arts guide, Business for Culture & and the Arts Associates Program
I’ve judged writing contests for the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and volunteered in the Manuscript ER for the Willamette Writers Conference. PNBA.)
Manuscript Review or Developmental Editing
Reading pages, sections, or a whole manuscript. With your goals in mind, I offer feedback on what is successful and what could be stronger, and how to make that happen.
Going through a piece line by line to make sure the writing shines and you’ve clearly communicated your story or message. By this stage, you don’t have questions about, for example, your main character’s motivation, but you want to ensure your grammar or overwriting don’t unintentionally leave your readers with their own questions.
Conducting a final review before submission or publication to address “small” errors like typos, peculiar line breaks, and when the table of contents says chapter four is named one thing but chapter four, within the manuscript, says it actually has a different title, thank you very much.
You reach out, and if working together seems great to both of us, we get going!
We can start and end anywhere in the services list. Often projects exist on a single point or move linearly: a client may want proofreading only, or a project may require a bit more attention, so we begin with line editing and then do a separate proofreading round. Just as often, the process evolves naturally, with a mix of services happening at once. I’m not going to ignore a misspelled word even if we’re working at a “deeper” level, and if while proofreading I have a question about a bigger matter, I will query.
A Glimpse into My Approach
The written word truly is transportive, transformative, and just plain fun. Consider the can’t-put-it-down novel that comes along at the right moment to entertain, to soothe, or to inspire. The policy report that expands expectations, maybe even helps create a law. The well-researched nonfiction book that teaches something new.
And words, sentences, and paragraphs are ridiculously delightful to interact with, to crack the code on the rules and then put those rules to work—and also choose how and when to break them. Language is a living creature that’s always changing and, ideally, improving.
Working with clients is all that too. My favorite moments are when I delight clients with a suggestion that they wouldn’t have thought of but that feels so right—when they know they and their work have been heard. Just as much, I love when we engage in conversation, and for at least that moment, the work becomes collaborative, and together, we take the writing beyond what either of us might have done alone.
Here are some of my tenets:
I respond honestly and warmly, taking my lead from the client’s voice and goals. It is never about if I like or don’t like a project but if the project succeeds.
Is the text readable? Clients hire me to help make their projects as close to perfect as possible. Of course that means I am tireless in seeking and correcting errors and strengthening what’s already working. I still think it is important to remember the foundational goal of any piece of writing: readability. Here’s a non-work example of this: I don’t edit (or judge) my friends’ texts. If I can understand their meaning, those texts have served their purpose.
Is there consistency within the text? Does the piece speak in one voice throughout? Does it follow the logic of grammar, spelling, and style as well as any unique logic established by the project? For example, a character’s eyes may reasonably change color in magical realism, but if we’re working on an academic paper, the subject’s characteristics should follow a more realistic logic.
Within the text, are there biases, assumptions, stereotypes, and lazy descriptions that unnecessarily or unintentionally read as hurtful or untrue? Stories can be painful, and characters can say and do ugly things—but exposition or narrative must be thoughtful. Bonus: inclusive and compassionate language is smarter, clearer, and better received, so why wouldn’t we choose that path?
Let’s Work Together
I’m a “yes, and” person. That’s a philosophy of improv*: your comedy partner does or says something, and instead of freezing or recoiling because you weren’t expecting that or you’ve never even considered that, you take what they offer and build on it.
“Yes, and” is what helps me both see opportunities and problem-solve. It got me to move across the country without knowing anyone in my new home city, got me to study for my scuba certification even though I suffer from motion sickness, got me to help renovate a hundred-year-old house. Which of course means it also put me in positions to quickly figure out solutions to potential issues: find ways to be involved in my new community, seek out new ways to stay calm bobbing on a boat, and learn new skills and new depths of patience. I like to try, I like to pivot, and I like to help others do so too.
So…reach out! I look forward to hearing from you: kristin (at) kristinthiel (dot) com.
* Or so I’ve heard. Funny enough, I’ve never said “yes, and” to trying improv.
If you would like to know a little bit about where I started, I wrote about my first writing and editing paychecks here.
My logo incorporates my first and last initials—and I love that they can be flipped to be TK, which is shorthand for “to come” and one of my own most frequently used marks as I write and edit. Unlike TC, which you might expect but which shows up in lots of English words, TK “is a unique and visually arresting letter combination.” Using it keeps you from getting bogged down in one spot—if the right wording isn’t coming to you, leave a TK and keep writing, keep editing, keep getting your voice written down. TK will guide you back.
That’s all she wrote! But you don’t have to leave the site.