On My Thankful List? Great Editors!
As we countdown to Thanksgiving, I start thinking about things I’m grateful for. It’s not always the usual things on everyone else’s lists. The oddest or not so odd things pop up every day that can make me grateful for various and sundry items that might not get mentioned around the turkey table come Thanksgiving. So I thought I might bring up a few starting with a doozy that struck me yesterday (and almost every day at this blog).
I’m absolutely, stupendously, over the moon grateful to every great editor out there still squinting at every submitted manuscript and soon to be released books they have before them, working furiously to make sure that what is finally accepted/or released, if that, is worthy of both the author and publisher as well as the reader’s emotional (and monetary) input. Someone who throughout the process with their red pen/pencil/marker/sword of blood/ cuts a swath through any writer’s purple prose, dense narrative, self involved point of view (goddess help me, the “I, I, I, I, I’s”), the love of tricks over substance, and cliche over depth. That’s without even getting a start on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Damn why is the umlaut there? I know wherefore art thou umlaut and it’s not (insert curse word) there!
Don’t even get me started on word choice! Argh! The help some writers have needed here! There’s apparently a whole bunch of people out there with nary of clue about words and their definitions, just picking them willy nilly out of the air! Miss Malaprops Indeed!
Poor overworked editors! In the larger publishing houses, jobs are broken down into smaller sections, some of which I listed below:
Developmental editor—As detailed above, the developmental editor helps the writer from the idea stage through the final draft. He may suggest topics, help with research, verify facts, and plan the structure of the manuscript. He works through successive drafts with the writer. He’s as concerned with the structure of a manuscript as much as he is the words and meaning.*
Substantive editor—Helps a writer improve his fiction manuscript by focusing on story elements, plot, characterization, dialogue, order of scenes, point of view, voice, setting, word choice, sentence construction and syntax, and pace—anything that could improve the strength of the manuscript.
And Copy Editors that do fact checking as well as all the other things I listed above, line item elements such as spelling, etc..
But for smaller publishers and Editing services (proofreaders and copy editors), how many of those are rolled into one or two people?
I sometimes cringe when I read an acknowledgement or forward from a writer that talks about friends that read the manuscript and told them to publish it. The writer thanks them for their loving support and encouragement. I mentally think “that’s terrific”, and then hope that author also found a editor too. Sigh. Oh the perils of self publishing. Or even a publishing house as well. A editor doesn’t always mean a good or great editor. Again my kudos to all you great ones out there!
Some err towards being a friend and middling copy checker. Nuh uh. And trust me, that can do far more harm once that book hits release time.
How many reviews have you all read that said needed a editor or better editor? Yep! So true. There’s a reason for that.
What exactly is the role of an editor anyway? Well, here is a definition I found repeated several blogs:
An editor polishes and refines, [they] direct the focus of the story or article or movie along a particular course. [They] cut out what doesn’t fit, what is nonessential to the purpose of the story. They enhance the major points, drawing attention to places where the audience should focus.
Some of that is almost guaranteed to make a writer gnash their teeth, weep tears, and pull out some hairs. No one wants to cut words, sentences, characters, or even whole parts of plots to have a book make sense. Yet that’s an editor’s job if that’s what it takes to make the story cleaner, polished, and substantially a finer story. And the author a better writer. It’s a process.
Again, when you say you hired a editor, what did you hire? Or did you hire a Proofreader? Not the same as any good or great editor will tell you. Each and everyone has a job to do. Hire the right one for the right job.
Really someone should have stopped these headers, right? Or placement?
One of my favorite blogs is called the Blood Red Pencil which focus’ on writing and, of course, editing. If you are as fond of the subject as I am check out the link below:
Blood-Red Pencil: Do Editors Use Red Pencils?
As to what launched this week’s post, well, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m just going to say I’m so grateful to each and everyone one of you overworked, gorgeous, and absolutely fabulous editors who have provided such incredible help to the authors and their stories I’ve read all through the years! I appreciate your hard work, I hope if you’re in the States you have a great Thanksgiving, or weekend if you’re abroad. Kudos to you all! A big Mwah!
Now onto this week’s books and tours.
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, November 18:
- RELEASE BLITZ – Comply by Lee Manarte
- Review Tour and Giveaway for Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Heat for Sale by Blake Moreno
- My Thankful List? Great Editors!
- This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, November 19:
- Release Blitz To Be Honest by S. M. James
- Sale Blitz for 2 Robert Winter Titles
- BLOG TOUR Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles Book 2) by AG Carothers
- An Alisa Review: Date from Hell by Gareth Vaughn
- An Alisa Review: Lost and Found (Dave&Carter) by Quin Perin
- A Free Dreamer Review: Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles #2) by A.G. Carothers
- A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Finn by Angel Martinez
Tuesday, November 20:
- Kaje Harper on Fair Isn’t Life
- BLOG TOUR The Billionaire’s Wish by Geoffrey Knight
- Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Crossroads (Skins #4)
- A MelanieM Review The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3) by Don Allmon
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: Quenched in Blood (Asheville Arcana #3) by Ari McKay
- A Caryn Review:Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: His Consort by Mary Calmes
Wednesday, November 21:
- Review Tour Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
- BLOG TOUR Broken Halos by Aimee Nicole Walker
- Release Blitz – Joanna Chambers – Mr Winterbourne’s
- A Lucy Review: His Christmas Sweater by CM VAlencourt
- An Ashlez Review : Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Claire Castle
- A Stella Review: Accidentally On Purpose by JM Snyder
- An Alisa Audio Review: Alpha Heat (Heat of Love #2) by Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)
Thursday, November 22: Happy Thanksgiving!
- Book Blast – Polyamory on Trial by Jude Tresswell
- In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: The Burning Magus by Don Allmon
- An Alisa Review: A Fated Bond by T.L. West
- A MelanieM Review: Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1) by Pia Foxhall
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt
Friday, November 23:
- Review Tour – LA Witt – The Husband Gambit
- Release Blitz – Pia Foxhall – Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1)
- Release Blitz Tour – Jay Northcote – Stuck With You
- An Ali Release Day Review: My Regelence Rake (The Sci-Regency #3) by J.L. Langley
- A MelanieM Review: The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt
- A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez
Saturday, November 24:
- Tour The Cub Club by Ardy Kelly
- Release Blitz with ARC Reviews – Lost and Found by Quin Perin
- Judith/Oz by Lily Morton Release Blitz and Review
- A MelanieM Review: Best in Show by Kelly Jensen
*The Editor’s Blog