Tonight’s topic is editing. How do you all go about this? I am horrible and very rarely ever even re-read what I have written, never mind have it edited, and I know that I will need to for my upcoming novel. So, how do we go about this?

Have some friends do it for free? Pay someone? Look on-line for people? I seriously have no idea. But I have been checking out a site that will post my book for free, but it needs to be edited by an “acceptable” editor. Acceptable? I am guessing that means not to have my children edit it, but who would they consider acceptable?

As always, all input is welcome!!! Thank you. πŸ™‚

























































25 thoughts on “Editing…

  1. I usually try to find someone who I am compatible with and whose writing I respect. They don’t have to be the exact same style as me, but it’s helpful if they’re similar. We try to exchange pages or chapters occasionally and give each other notes. Having a collaborator like this is also helpful if you find yourself ‘stuck’ and in need of an idea or a kick in the pants. Great topic!

    • Hmmm, so I need to find a friend that would be willing to do this for me for free and in return I would need to do the same. This is always hard for me to edit a friend’s work. I am that person that thinks that everything that everyone else does is amazing…so to be a critic will be tough. I mean, I can do the “editing” part no problem and be an amazing motivator, but to tear apart someones writing and tell them to change it up to make it flow better or whatever is not in me. This will be difficult to say the least. You have me thinking now…thank you!!

      • For me the editing of someone else’s work is as much of a learning process as having my work edited is. Sometimes we’re so close to our own work we can’t see the forest for the trees, if you will. Simple things like spelling errors or grammatical errors go unnoticed by us, and that doesn’t even touch on glaring plot point errors. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  2. Critique groups are wonderful at helping not only edit, but to develop a thicker skin (mine only gets to think- there are always tears πŸ˜€ )
    Depending on your genre, I’d do a search for Yahoo groups or websites dedicated to this type of thing.
    The nice thing about a critique partner online is that you don’t really know them and might be able to approach their work with a more critical eye.

  3. I’ve done critique groups and had friends help out, and those are great tactics. I also read The Artful Edit last year and that has really helped my own editing skills.

  4. I would suggest a writer’s group/workshop to get you started (I know my public library has a writer’s group once a week for free and you can also look into a city-wide “writer’s guild” that will give you access to lots of resources).

    There are also plenty of places online you can go to find editors, just be careful who you pick as some overcharge. You might consider going with a consulting firm that does packages for indie authors and seeing if they have one that’s just editing and proofing.

    I’d also highly recommend Stunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” if you’re looking for editing help or any of the grammar girl handbooks for proofing help if you’re looking to do it yourself.

  5. You could always Google “copy-editor” and see what comes up? I think a copy-edit usually runs around a thousand or less dollars. If you don’t want to pay, I agree with the other commenters — critique group!

      • Additional info I’ve gathered: apparently a good editor will be willing to do a sample edit of the first chapter-ish of your manuscript free of charge, so you can make sure you like the job they will do on the rest of your manuscript. If the editor you choose doesn’t offer this, then they might not be legit.

  6. Some websites crowd source critiquing. For scifi/fantasy, the website is called “critters.org”. I believe they are part of a larger umbrella of editing/critiquing sites. There you must edit/critique a set number of other people’s works to earn your critique. For short stories it is 2 critiques given per 1 received. The novel is something more like 4. But then these are more for critiquing, which can be different than editing. Also for scifi, there are web forums. I should assume for other genres there are equivalent social spaces.

    I have had to rely heavily on the internet, because my friends are good kind people, but not keen to edit. And editing really takes a certain panache, I think. Good luck, and post what you find!

  7. Tonight’s topic is editing. How do you all go about this? I am horrible and very rarely ever even re-read what I have written, never mind have it edited, and I know that I will need to for my upcoming novel. So, how do we go about this?

    I am so thankful you brought up editing. (Btw, I have this neat writing excerize in a post called “Narrative Craft” check that out.) Here’s some advice from a student: when you go to sit down and write, write it all out without going over it, try not to be too critical of yourself, just get it all down! When you come back to investigate, feel free to make corrections on easy-to-spot grammer errors. Check your verb tenses. Some writers advise to recite what you write. I think, it’s helpful to leave it be for a few hours, maybe a day. Come back to it, and read it over, making sure all the elements of fiction are there: setting, charater, action.

    I wouldn’t have friends do it. Your friends share the same intrest. You’ll want a broader audience. Paying someone could be pricey, like a real editor?

    Y’know I was thinking about starting a writer’s workshop on my blog. I’d encourage people like yourself to join. You’d get a chance to share you’re work with passionate writers.

    good luck!

  8. “Acceptable?” WTF does that mean? I’m dirt poor so can’t afford to hire an editor and as I’m a bit protective, I do my own editing. Yeah I know everyone says you shouldn’t but I’m broke and anyway, who says that this or that person’s opinion of my narrative or the depth of my character is more valid than mine? There are so many people setting up shop as editors nowadays and yet when do you ever see an error free book? I’m not changing my plot or characters just on the say so of some stranger who’s charged me hundreds of dollars. My work is as I want it to be and no one touches it but me.

  9. Great topic. I started my freelance proofreading/editing side biz (it pays the bills where my writing fills my heart) after finishing several edits for friends and unsolicited authors. Most self-publishers do not have the money to hire someone to be critical and tough. They rely on family and friends, which like mentioned above, they have similar interests and generally will not bring the tough love that is required to produce an amazing book.

    I started editing books I purchased of self-publishing authors, unsolicited of course. The bigger named authors didn’t appear to care. The more humbled, caring authors, those like myself, were amazed at the work I submitted to them. I didn’t give them more than 1-2 chapter, as I didn’t want to overwhelm them. I also wanted their feedback as to my ability to be a proofreader/editor and an underlying growth as an author. The feedback was overwhelming. I could feel their sincerity and gratitude. Like mentioned above, most proofers/editors will give you one chapter of FREE edits, to see if the two of you are compatible.

    Search around. Ask around. No friends. Friends tend to not want to hurt your feelings. I recently read several books were I must be 1 in a million because the editing stinks. Where instead of were. Here and hear. Beet and beat. Character names placed randomly, though never mentioned prior to. A person running though they never got out of the car.

    Watch your reviewers as well. We all want positive glowing reviews but at what cost? I have found my 7 year old could write better than some authors though all the “reviews” they have received are contradictory. What justice are they doing to authors and potential readers?

    We as writers get so caught up in the story, our minds running a mile a minute we fail to go back and read it. If we do, we allow our subconscious to fill in the blanks of missing words and or auto-correct what might be wrong. When I write I type extremely quickly with my eyes shut, relying strictly on my senses, getting lost in my fantasy world. Having owned a transcription business where accuracy and time mattered, I learned to rely on my hearing and not on sight. LOL!

    I am reposting this on my blog & answering more in-depth because I agree with you, it is a topic worth discussing! :0) Good-luck. If you ever need any assistance…let me know!!!

  10. Editing your Novel « Savannah Day

  11. Hello Angela! I haven’t written any novels in my life yet, but editing is something that I learned to always do because of college. I’m majoring in English so there is no way I can write my papers and don’t edit then before giving to the professors. I usually do my own editing some days after I’ve written the material and then I do another editing some more days later. This helps to distance you from the text so that you can see things that if you edit right after you wrote you won’t see. Peer editing is also cool, we exchange our papers in between friends and edit each other. In your case I think it best if you find someone to do it because an outsider usually spots things that could be better that the author does not really notice!

  12. I take a very disciplined approach to self-editing, beginning with my second draft. A post on my blog describes this process in detail. I continue to self-edit my third and fourth drafts, and then I turn my manuscript over to a professional (someone who does it for a living and who has edited a few five-star books). That won’t necessarily give me a five-star book (a book can be written and edited perfectly, but still suck), but it gives me peace of mind in knowing that I’ve put forth a serious effort to ensure that the final product–which can never be erased, and which will always bear my name and contribute to my reputation–is as good as I can possibly make it.
    I’ve self-edited, in full, only one book, and I’ve paid dearly for it. Seeing as how I am not an expert on the English language or how to write a good book, I allow a lot of errors to “slip through the cracks” simply because I don’t know they are errors. Many other independent authors who self-edit also fall into this trap; I’m not alone. And, while I am performing my preliminary edits, I put away a little money here and there, to save up for a real an editor. If my name’s going to be on a book, I’m going to make sure it goes to a capable editor first.

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