Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Write Way #2 Editors

What does copyediting, proofreading, developmental editing, and substantive editing have in common?

Only that the individuals doing these things to your manuscript are going to point out something you need to work on.

AND you're going to piss them off, as the author, because of your poor use of the English language, your wayward inconsistencies, and your total disregard for grammar rules (they seem to have some sort of fixation on the latter). That's about it.

A simple internet search on any of these terms will yield a million results (all of which would be better than my explanation so I'll leave the definitions to the internet experts). But I want to discuss 'decisions' here. Now, I'm not published so there are some (read: alot of) things I don't know and hopefully some of you reading this can help me out ( I learn the craft...).

When your manuscript is returned with edits, don't always take the edits as written in stone. If your editor thinks a concept...a word...a scene should be a certain way and it isn't in your vision, ask them about it. Is this not your heart on paper? Would you allow someone else to tell you how to feel? I don't think so...or at least I hope not. And if your editor gets snippy, snotty, or doesn't and isn't willing to give you an explanation for their suggestions, I SUGGEST you find another one (I recommend Shonell Bacon, by the way). Why? Because you need someone who supports your vision. And if your editor is changing your vision, without just cause then they're borderline ghostwriting, IMO. I may be wrong and I don't know how much control over edits you eventually have, but I live in lala-writer-land and my hope is whomever edits my work, believes in my work enough to edit along my vision, if my vision makes sense.

Now, I'm not talking about if you're doing something dead wrong in your manuscript. If it makes sense to you and your book, then by all means do what they ask...with a smile. But there's nothing wrong with asking questions, right?

Am I too far off thinking this?

Tune in to The Write Way #3 I Hear Voices (and they are not from dead people)


Shonell Bacon said...

One, thanks for the shout out, LOL

Two, no, you are not far off in your thinking. The editor is not supposed to be the LIVING END to your book. It should be a collaborative act. Hopefully, the editor is not only trying to make your book the best book YOU could write, but is also teaching you so that you can become a better writer on the NEXT project.

Anonymous said...

Cool Shon! Thanks for letting me know I'm on the right track.


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