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About Editors...

General, open discussion regarding writing, getting published, markets, pointers, and other related topics. All are welcome! No advertising, please!

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keviningram
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About Editors...

Postby keviningram » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:26 pm

Still trying to fill in a few gaps in my knowledge before flipping the switch to publish one of these manuscripts.

My questions today are about editors.

Could those who know please enlighten me, are all editors the same? If I were to submit the same manuscript to six different editors, would they all come back pretty much the same, or would they be drastically different? Do all editors follow the same strict grammatical and style paradigms and produce the same output, or is there some variance of personal taste and style in their services?

Thanks,
Kevin Ingram

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glorybee
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Re: About Editors...

Postby glorybee » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:38 pm

keviningram wrote:Still trying to fill in a few gaps in my knowledge before flipping the switch to publish one of these manuscripts.

My questions today are about editors.

Could those who know please enlighten me, are all editors the same? If I were to submit the same manuscript to six different editors, would they all come back pretty much the same, or would they be drastically different? Do all editors follow the same strict grammatical and style paradigms and produce the same output, or is there some variance of personal taste and style in their services?

Thanks,
Kevin Ingram


I'm an editor--and my feeling is that you'd get six significantly different results with six editors. Almost all would catch obvious typos and errors of writing mechanics, but even those are sometimes open to interpretation; for example, I might advise the use of a semicolon, while another editor would prefer a period or an em dash.

Even more significantly, when it comes to developmental or deep editing, each editor will bring their particular tastes, leanings, and biases to the work. I'm an editor who likes tight writing, while another editor might want more description. I enjoy a writer who's able to intentionally bend the rules (using sentence fragments for effect, for example), while another writer might be a style purist.

And the sad fact is that there are a lot of folks out there who have set out their EDITOR shingle but they have no idea what they're doing.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
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Shann
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Re: About Editors...

Postby Shann » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:31 am

I agree with Jan. You would get 6 very different edits. Hopefully most would catch typos, and problems with characters or story lines, but even punctuation rules can vary. Some just do copyediting. Others tend to work on a particular genre only.

I have done what I call basic editing (which is less time consuming and less expensive) and focuses on errors, punctuation, transitions, and anything that doesn't really fit the storyline. What I call basic editing is where it is pretty much copyediting, checking to see if there are spots that don't work, and making minor suggestions. When I edit, I also will do research and give links to help the author understand my reasoning, learn from my edits, and see other opinions to make informed decisions.

I also do what I call detailed editing. It tends to be quite a bit different from other editing. I check for everything above, but I also look at dialog and will give examples of ways it can be made better. I also try to make sure the characters' personalities stay true and stand out. I might point out clichés, POV shifts, and encourage the author to not repeat words. I often will work on helping the author tighten up the writing too. Sometimes the lines can be just too confusing so I'll suggest a way to make it easier to understand.

I also rarely do what I call a soft rewrite. In the past that has been for people who have never written, but have a story to tell. It's not quite ghostwriting, but more of a rewrite.

However, I prefer to do more detailed editing. I've been told I'm good at helping the author say what she wants without losing her voice. I've been asked to do basic editing on MS that need detailed editing, and I find it difficult to stick to the basics. I've learned in those cases to recommend someone else or encourage the person to consider the detailed edit.

Most editors should be willing to give you references and a sample of their editing. I usually give about 1,000 word free sample. Some people want an editor who will give praise as well as constructive criticism. I try to do that (especially if I know the person needs it) but focus more on just the edits.

Depending on the contract, some editors just read through once. I tend to do 3 to 4 read throughs. Of course that takes longer, so if you want it fast and are confident in your rules, that may not be the best pick for you. Of course, the author always has the last say. I've had a few times where the author didn't want to follow any advice (or very little) and I've needed to pull out. To be fair though, that hasn't happened with FW, but more with people who don't really know how to write but have been told they are brilliant and should write a book. They just wanted me to gush over the book. My conscience wouldn't allow me to do that. Sometimes people just aren't a good fit for one another. But if they are willing to give you a free sample of their work, you can get three or four different samples and see which one best fits your needs.

Of course, price and turnover time is something that will vary greatly with each editor too. FW does offer a list of editors. I've worked with most of them on some level or another. I think they all have their merits, yet each one is quite different.
Shann

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Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

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Deb Porter
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Re: About Editors...

Postby Deb Porter » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:18 pm

There are really three forms of editing: proofreading, copyediting, and structural (or hard) editing. Each form is a vital part of a manuscript's process. As Shann mentioned, she is a copy editor. You would use this as a minimum for a manuscript, followed by final proofreading.

In an ideal world, everyone would have a manuscript structurally edited, followed by a copy edit of the author's revisions, and finally a proofread (of the final proof, post layout) before going ahead with publishing. It doesn't hurt to have this done by at least two different people because familiarity does sometimes make it harder to pick minor mistakes.

So even if your structural editor provides a second copyedit of your manuscript after your revisions, it's worth finding someone else to do a proofread before heading to publication.

Love, Deb
Deb
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Breath of Fresh Air Press

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