A professional editor once told me that writing was “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”

I believe that too. Writing should be fun even though it’s hard work. But sometimes, you get so tangled up in the story you’re trying to create that it starts feeling like you’re stuck in one of those hedge mazes that’s going to take all night to get out of.

And that’s no fun at all.

That’s where I come in.  I help writers who are lost in their own stories and can’t find their way out of their draft to get un-lost and un-confused so they can FINISH THEIR NOVEL.

I also provide professional critiquing and editing services to help you make your story as good as you dreamed of it being.

Jack A. Ori gives amazing feedback, both kind and constructive. As a writer, all critique feels a bit like a kick in the gut, at least initially. Not Jack’s. He leads his comments with the positive, making you feel good about your work. Critique from Jack feels like getting straight-talk advice from a close friend.

– Michelle Burden, Author of Fate Unknown

The Messy Writer: Who I Am

I am an indie author, freelancer, and editor who believes strongly that writers should help one another.

I began experimenting with independent publishing in the early 2000s and learned a lot about it the hard way, through making expensive mistakes due to lack of experience and difficulty figuring out when to trust my own vision and when to listen to others’ opinions.

Today, I not only offer feedback on young adult authors’ works-in-progress, but also help you build your self-confidence as an author. I’ll tell you what’s not working — but I’ll also make sure you know what IS so that you can build on the skills you already have and turn a GOOD story into a GREAT one that readers won’t be able to put down!


Professional Writing Organizations I’m Associated With

Alliance of Independent Authors /                 Scribophile, the online writing group for serious writers

The Messy Writer: Who I Help

I primarily work with other young adult authors.

My mission is to help empower young adults, so if I can help YOU get your stories out there, we both win!

I also have a special interest in helping young adults get their first writing projects off the ground, so if that’s you — or someone you know — we should talk.


The Messy Writer: Services

  • Opening chapter critique

I read your opening chapter with an eye towards how well it hooks me from the beginning, how you introduce your characters, world, and story, and what you can do to make it even more engaging.

  • Whole book critique

I read and critique your entire story,  from beginning to end, focusing on the things that are of most concern to you as well as giving you my general opinion of the character development, plot development, and the way your story expresses your theme.

  • Line-by-line edit

Ready for a closer look? I go line-by-line through your manuscript and suggest revisions. This focuses mostly on mechanics but I will also give you my thoughts about larger issues (plot, character, etc) as I read each passage.