Thursday Writing Tip #32


5 Comments on “Thursday Writing Tip #32

  1. If the editor is doing his/her job correctly, there shouldn’t be any lingering concerns about the manuscript — at least not anything related to editing — once the work is done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well. when I was reviewing the 3rd final edited draft of my first editor, i felt uncomfortable because I found a couple of things missed and hired another one.

      It’s hard to find a good editor on the first try and it’s hard to see if the editor is doing things correctly- i haven’t come up with criteria for testing how good the editor is. Sure, my first editor provided tons of references and so did my second editor but references isn’t enough.

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      • Don’t rely on references; always get a sample edit before hiring an editor you haven’t worked with before.

        As for that first editor missing a couple of things… If you mean that he/she missed literally only two errors in an entire novel-length manuscript, you had a very good editor. (Industry standard is to keep the error rate below five percent, which comes to about one per manuscript page. A good editor strives to do far better than that — on my worst day, my failure rate is still only about one tenth of one percent — but you shouldn’t freak out if your editor missed a couple of small mistakes.) ‘Course, I’m assuming, maybe incorrectly, that you mean line/copy editing, not developmental. A developmental editor who misses a significant plot hole or a continuity issue like the main character’s height changing for no good reason… Yeah, fire that one and find an editor who pays attention.

        I don’t know of any sure way to find out beforehand if a developmental editor is really a good fit for you, although getting a sample edit is always a good idea. (Example: If you have a sci-fi novel, and a developmental editor makes a comment such as, “‘Iapetus’ is a stupid name for a moon — change!” you shouldn’t hire this person.) For line/copy editing, a sample is more useful, but you, as the author, still need to know enough about writing to be able to see whether or not the editor has any clue what he/she is doing. (Example: If a line/copy editor doesn’t know the difference, for punctuation purposes, between a dialogue tag/attribution and a beat/associated action, do not hire this person. If a line/copy editor deletes all the commas from compound sentences, do not hire this person.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well when I went over the last draft, I noticed that the editor missed a couple of inconsistencies which I ended up catching so I switched to another editor and I agree about getting sample edits though I would feel better for asking for a sample since in a way it feels like I don’t trust the editor right off the bat. But, after trying to find a good editor for years, I finally found one. ^_^ Though she doesn’t know yet that I would be bugging her hopefully in two months haha

        and yes, I had experience with an editor asking me to rename things in my fantasy novel and questioning my decisions when I wasn’t looking for that type of help.

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