About PDHines

Hi, I’m Pam. Developmental Editor, Story Coach, and Copyeditor.

I help busy professionals write and polish the book of their dreams. I specialize in speculative and science-based fiction and nonfiction. I’ll assist you in reaching your writing goals, developing a sound writing routine, and crafting compelling, emotionally resonant stories with polished flow and structure.

I am a medical doctor, which has given me a unique perspective on balancing analysis, compassion, and solution-finding. Details matter but so does your story’s emotional core.

Story Coach, Story Development

Stories, like fine pottery, are molded and shaped by the writer’s careful hands, bringing forth nuance and depth with each turn of the wheel.

The editor uses their skill to sharpen and deepen what is already there, but the shape and function of the vessel remain the same. Professional editor services strive to understand the writer’s intent and to enhance, not alter.

As a professional editor, I help fiction and nonfiction writers plan, write, and polish their drafts into stories that work. I love helping writers bring authenticity to their speculations, flow to their structure, and heart to their stories.

 

01/ Strategic

If I have a superpower, it is my drive to figure things out. I leverage my experience as a doctor, writer, editor, musician, and community organizer in service of your story. I help people tell their stories in a way that matters to them. The path can be thorny, but there is always a way through—and you don’t have to travel all of it alone.

02/ Professional

I trained for this! Professional degrees—MD, MPH, MBA. My writing and professional editor certificates—Fiction Writing from UCLA, Copyediting from UCSD, Story Grid Editor, and Fictionary StoryCoach Editor. More importantly, I bring years of listening, analyzing, and synthesizing—all in service of your story.

03/ Creative

Story structure comes in many flavors. Three Acts. Four Acts. The Hero’s Journey. The 7-Point Story Structure. The Snowflake Method. The Virgin’s Promise. The Story Circle.  The Story Grid. How do you know which to use? Let’s talk about why it matters—and doesn’t.

Book Coaching PDHines Editing

What Makes Me Qualified?

I have a certificate in Fiction Writing from the University of California, Los Angeles Writer’s Program. My studies focused on Novel Writing, Screenwriting, and  Editing and Acquisitions.

I’m a Fictionary Certified StoryCoach Editor, personally trained by editor, writer, and Fictionary CEO Kristina Stanley in a  motivating coaching style that encourages as well as critiques. A Fictionary StoryCoach edit takes an in-depth review of your story and delivers a clean, visually stunning product to elevate your writing and improve your self-revision skills. 

I’m a Certified Story Grid Editor, personally trained by Shawn Coyne, an editor with over 30 years of experience in the publishing industry and writer of The Story Grid, What Good Editors Know. Story Grid Editors are developmental editors who know how stories work. We use a strong knowledge of genre to identify and analyze macro and micro-story structures. 

I earned a certificate in Copyediting from the University of California, San Diego, which means I’m trained to edit fiction and nonfiction with precision and accuracy, focusing on everything from punctuation and grammar to style and word usage. 

I’ve studied stories, and I’ve passed MANY tests demonstrating expert knowledge of:

  • how stories work
  • how to elevate writing and self-revision skills 
  • how to maximize modern writing tools 
  • how to create a book that emotionally resonates with readers
  • how to give clear, compassionate, and actionable feedback
  • how to polish manuscripts for submission 

I believe in the power of stories to change lives. I love helping writers craft and polish their stories—with style, grace, and truth.

Fun Facts About Me

Jazz Guitar

My grandfather gave me a nylon-string guitar when I was a teenager. I learned to play by following Carole King, Stevie Wonder, and James Taylor songbooks. After medical school, I formally trained in jazz guitar for relaxation and in a foolish attempt to “play like Earl Klugh.” I own four guitars, a Taylor, two Takamine electric/acoustics, and a Joe Pass hollow-body electric. I can’t say I ever reached  Klugh’s level, but I enjoy those meditative moments when thought and fingers flow together to create effortless harmony.  

Dog Mom

In 2018, I adopted Scout and Daisy, a dynamic mother/daughter pair. They are Maltese mixes, heavy on the mix. Scout is the daughter, and she’s as feisty and curious as her literary namesake in To Kill a Mockingbird. Daisy, the mom, has a reserved air of aristocracy worthy of a party in The Great Gatsby. Even though I didn’t name them, I love that my girls have literary names. It feels meant to be. They have their own Instagram page.

KC 132 flight

In the summer between my sophomore and junior medical school years, I did a flight surgeon internship at NASA in Texas. We trained in hyperbaric chambers and Space Shuttle technology. In a study on using Scopolamine patches to reduce space sickness, I took a trip in a KC132 jet flying a parabolic pattern over the Gulf of Mexico. Up and down over the water we went, heavy Gs pushed and pulled on us. The treat—20 seconds of weightlessness on the top—floating in the air, astronaut-style, like this.

My Recon Campervan

I own a little Campervan. It’s a garage-able Nissan NV 200 tricked out with a pop-top, fridge, sink, solar panels, water heater, storage cabinets, and a convertible sofa. Delayed by Covid-19, its build and delivery took a year and a half. Now, it’s my favorite beach ride. The folks at Recon Campers do fantastic work, but Nissan discontinued the NV model, so future Recons will look different. Mine looks like this.

Have dog beds, will travel!

“I loved working with Pam because she was very detailed in her evaluation. Her enthusiasm was encouraging and thorough without being overwhelming.”

– Owen Garrett, author of The Pulse 

“I loved working with Pam because she was very detailed in her evaluation. Her enthusiasm was encouraging and thorough without being overwhelming.”

– Owen Garrett, author of The Pulse 

“I loved working with Pam because she was very detailed in her evaluation. Her enthusiasm was encouraging and thorough without being overwhelming.”

– Owen Garrett, author of The Pulse 

Let’s bring authenticity to your speculations, flow to your structure, and heart to your words.