Monday 22 October 2012

The Editor

Writing something interesting is a hard job. Writing something interesting with perfect punctuation, grammar and spelling is even tougher. Writing something interesting with perfect punctuation, grammar and spelling  that will be accepted by a publisher . . . well, that takes a lot more effort.

So, you've done your best work, you've been submitting your work, you get a bite, and eventually a contract.

And just when you think that all the hard work was in the creating, plotting, writing, checking grammar, etc., and re-writing some more---you're wrong.

Once you have a contract signed for your work, you will be assigned an editor.

The editor picks out punctuation and spelling errors easily, but their biggest job is helping the writer create the best story possible. And I, for one, really appreciate the editor.

I've just been through the ropes of editing book 2 , Sir Princess Petra's Talent - The Pen Pieyu Adventures, to be pre-released January, 2013. It was grueling.

The editor is not a scary person, but an editor has eagle-eagle-eagle eyes, and can spot not only the mistakes in sentence structure, but holes in the plotting. This is where the writer has to work harder still.

When a writer gets too close to their story, the writer knows all the little details in their head, and it's easy to forget to put in that tiny little detail "A" that has something to do with why or how detail "B" is in the story.

I've only been through the editing process twice, but it was more or less the same both times. I thought the plot was organized, clear and well thought out. And for the most part it was. But then eagle-eagle-eagle eyes asks the question,"what does this have to do with anything?"

Good question! I'm dumbfounded. I thought the story was all so perfectly clear.

Well, it's back to the drawing board to wiggle in those little detail so it does become clear. And knowing where to wiggle in those details takes a lot of thought.

The editor will never tell you how to fix a particular sentence structure problem or plotting problem. They will only tell you where they see the problem---the writer has to come up with the solutions.

I have a love/hate relationship with editing. It's hard work, brain cramping work, but I know in the long run it will make the story so much better.

The editing of book 2 took many hours over many weeks with lots of email back and forth to the editor. But slowly and surely, the little details finally did all came together.

Once I had the plot details in order, my editor was very happy with the re-write and the optimizing of some sentence structure. But I thought it could be better. I started going through every sentence, every word, every feeling to make sure it sounded just right. I think a writer could do this until their brain explodes, but there does come a moment, after pounding your head against the desk for a few days, when you write the word, the sentence, the feeling yet again and know that now, it is absolutely perfect..

So no mistake about it, editing a manuscript is hard work. But now that it's done,  I know the book is better for it.

I'm very thankful to have expert editors with my publishing house. I had a different editor for each book, and each editor was extremely helpful in making the books the best they could. be.

I believe strongly that the more hard work a writer puts into the story, the more the reader will get out of it.

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