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Author Resource Round Table > One editor or multiple editors?

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda M. Lyons (amandamlyons) Honestly, it depends on the editor. I advise asking them to tell you their strengths when you hire them, possible also ask for a sample of their work on a few pages of your writing. I'd say use another editor if the first wasn't strong in all areas or you want to rule out line edit errors badly enough that you feel it's worth the expense.

I'm a freelance editor and lead editor US for JEA and, from my experience, 2 edits equal a good, clean manuscript, but you should remember the 2nd editor is usually only needing to do a read through of the previous editor's work. So the question is whether you want to play it safe and catch minor errors or if the first editor didn't quite do the job and you need someone to finish it. I'd say that no one should ever need more than two unless one of the others didn't do a good job and then, I'd ask for my money back.


message 2: by Jim (last edited Nov 02, 2014 02:34PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1072 comments Tammy wrote: "Hello All,

I have an editing question. I’ve already paid for developmental editing, and my editor was simply amazing. My next round of editing will be line editing. My question is, should writers ..."


Tammy,

Most professional editors specialize in a specific type of editing and have honed their skill-set accordingly. You indicate that you are totally satisfied with the results provided by the developmental editor; whose focus was on the concepts, narration, and character/story progression.

It might prove more beneficial to now seek out a reputable copy editor who will focus solely upon techinical aspects such as spelling, punctuation, grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.


message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments I would say use multiple editors regardless of how much editing one person does or is willing to do. You yourself are going to miss your own mistakes so naturally you need someone to edit it, here is the first editor. After that, I would say have at least one more person look it over and make edit's and maybe even give them specific things to look for. This way, you've had more then just your self and one set of eyes editing the work and you feel better knowing it's been thoroughly looked over.


message 4: by Rebecca (last edited Nov 05, 2014 08:01PM) (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 212 comments I like to keep editors and proof-readers separate, both because they are different skills and because an editor might have the same problem I do--getting too familiar and too involved with the text to see the mistakes.

Since I don't usually use professional editors, I am also more inclined to have a couple of them do developmental edits at different stages, just to get more varied input, and in hopes that more brains will catch more problems.


message 5: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Whitt | 35 comments Definitely use different editors. No matter how good an editor is at their craft, a different set of eyes will always see your work from another angle. My developmental editor worked for years at a publication where every piece of work had to be reviewed by five different editors before it was deemed ready for public consumption.


message 6: by Al "Tank" (last edited Nov 06, 2014 04:31PM) (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 280 comments At AKW Books (a publisher), we use two editors.

A "story editor" works the ms for plot pacing, info-dumps, and other "high-level" improvements.

The "copy editor" works at a "micro" level looking for the usual punctuation and spelling problems, but also word choice, conflicting plot points, dialog tag elimination, sentence structure (active vs passive), and similar concerns.

Both jobs require a ton of experience in fiction writing, not just being good at "English".

The two disciplines are very difficult to find in one person. In fact, it's almost impossible to do both jobs at the same time because of the outlook required.

I'm one of the copy editors. I'm damned good at that. But I'm a lousy story editor (well, not that bad, but I wouldn't pay me to do that job). We have other editors who can do much better.


message 7: by Lee-Lee (new)

Lee-Lee Also consider whether or not your manuscript needs stylistic or line editing (polishing your usage, transitions, word choice, and other points of style while protecting your unique voice and tone) or simply basic copyediting. Just because you've had someone review the structural bones of your work doesn't mean it might not benefit from a language tuneup. This is another aspect that's best determined by getting a sample edit to see if what the editor provides is what your manuscript really needs.

Good luck!


message 8: by Rayanne (new)

Rayanne Sinclair I use different editors for dev, copy, proofing. They all bring something new to the project.


message 9: by Jim (last edited Nov 07, 2014 09:48AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1072 comments Most text books and literary trade periodicals recommend that an author's work is best served by the combined contributions of a copy editor, conceptual editor, and layout design artist.


message 10: by Angela (new)

Angela Tyler | 21 comments The more professional eyes looking at your book, the better. I was AMAZED at the different things different editors and proofreaders caught and noticed when working on Queen Mother.


message 11: by Zara-jo (new)

Zara-jo Palmer | 30 comments Do any of you actually publish the story you intended to write or the one somebody else thinks you should write?

A good computer has spell check, a thesaurus, and a FIND facility. Use them, and ask a friend to read a completed draft. If they don't understand something, the chances are they've found a flaw in the plot or a character acting out-of-character.

No, I don't write fiction, but my job involves report writing and submitting research papers. Do you think I'd still have it if I made basic errors that, frankly, are easy to find?

The friends I ask to read my work are qualified in the same field, and I return the favour. Where is your problem in finding a friend who enjoys the genre of book you write?

Try having confidence in yourselves and your writing and give me, and all the other readers, NEW stories, not the same old rehash under different names.


message 12: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 246 comments Angela wrote: "The more professional eyes looking at your book, the better. I was AMAZED at the different things different editors and proofreaders caught and noticed when working on Queen Mother."

I've had the same experience--an editor isn't necessarily going to see the missing period, or some other tiny thing, that a proofreader will notice.

I chose my editor after finding out that a critique swap partner I'd met through Sisters in Crime was also an editor. Her critique of my WIP showed me her strong editorial skills, and my chance to critique her work showed me that she understood writing as an art, not just a technical exercise.

It's not a bad idea to ask an editor for a sample.


message 13: by Angela (new)

Angela Tyler | 21 comments Zara-jo wrote: "Do any of you actually publish the story you intended to write or the one somebody else thinks you should write?

A good computer has spell check, a thesaurus, and a FIND facility. Use them, and as..."


My goodness! Such hostility (i.e. same old rehash) towards writers that only wish to produce quality literature.

By the way, there is more to editing than finding "basic errors," and professional editors are more than human spell checkers. It's wonderful if you believe that your friends are qualified to and honest enough to critique your writing. Those of us serious about our writing (and our friendships) do not only rely on favors.

For someone who does not write fiction, you sure have created a story in your mind about our confidence, problem finding friends, commitment to our original stories, etc.


message 14: by Angela (new)

Angela Tyler | 21 comments Tammy wrote: "Angela wrote: "The more professional eyes looking at your book, the better. I was AMAZED at the different things different editors and proofreaders caught and noticed when working on Queen Mother...."

You're welcome! It was hard to spend so much $ on editing, but it was SO worth it!

Good luck!


message 15: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Bauer (jeffbauer) | 3 comments I am looking for a good developmental editor. Can anybody recommend one?


message 16: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 246 comments She's in high demand. I have no idea how--can't resist the pun--how "booked" she is. But here's her web site.
http://ramonadef.wordpress.com/


message 17: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Bauer (jeffbauer) | 3 comments Thanks for the DE recommendations - I'll contact them both and see if I can find a match ;)


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