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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So. I'm editing alllllll week so that I can get ready to send my novel off to my editor soon.

I'm nervous. What if she absolutely thinks its dreadful?! What if she just slams it down on her coffee table and decides she just cannot edit something so horrendous?

I know it sounds lame, but I'm nervous to send my work off to a professional! Don't get me wrong, I can handle criticism, but maybe I just have a case of the butterflies. Now I'm questioning everything: Is Fox developed enough? (Of course she is! No she's not!) Did this situation play out correctly? (It's wonderful! It's awful!) <----- This has been me. This morning. All morning. -_____-




 

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Hey, don't be stressed over a job you are paying for! I read a paragraph or two. There are a number of errors. I will not pick-on you and point them out - that's the editors task. I would suggest sending only a chapter or two at first. If you are stunned by the number of fixes needed, you can decide what to do without having paid to have the whole text edited. But seriously, if an editor does not embarrass you, they are not very good. Plus, you need to clarify if you are getting text edits - as in grammar/spelling - or the more difficult story edits - critique of your story. Stay strong and realize that anything worth doing will take a LOT of effort.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
craigr1971 said:
Hey, don't be stressed over a job you are paying for! I read a paragraph or two. There are a number of errors. I will not pick-on you and point them out - that's the editors task. I would suggest sending only a chapter or two at first. If you are stunned by the number of fixes needed, you can decide what to do without having paid to have the whole text edited. But seriously, if an editor does not embarrass you, they are not very good. Plus, you need to clarify if you are getting text edits - as in grammar/spelling - or the more difficult story edits - critique of your story. Stay strong and realize that anything worth doing will take a LOT of effort.

I would actually appreciate knowing where the errors are, so that I could fix them. I wouldn't be embarrassed about it. I'm doing the best I can to make sure it goes through the ringer 39759832792 times, which is kind of the reason I'm asking for advice. lol If the issue is grammar errors, then that I can deal with. That can be fixed and that I can learn. But if the plot, characters, and scenarios aren't interesting or they are underdeveloped, well then I have a serious, serious issue. lol

I think because I've never done this before, it's difficult to understand and gauge how perfect the manuscript should be before you actually send it in to an editor. Like, "is this okay to send to an editor, or does it need more self-editing". There are going to be things that I don't see, just like there are things that you do. I think that's the difficult part, if that makes sense. And I think I'm going through a phase were everything is great, and then everything I write is crap.

And the editor I'm working with does it all. I sent her a sample chapter, and she accepted the project, so I'm hoping she feels like it's good enough to proceed.
 

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I was wondering why you didn't publish it as a Kindle book using Kindle Direct Publishing?  It is a free service and you will learn a lot about publishing by doing it that way.

I am assuming that you have to pay this editor for her to review your book.  Do you really need her?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Franklin Eddy said:
I was wondering why you didn't publish it as a Kindle book using Kindle Direct Publishing? It is a free service and you will learn a lot about publishing by doing it that way.

I am assuming that you have to pay this editor for her to review your book. Do you really need her?
I'm sorry, I think I'm confused. What do you mean? As in, you read it and felt like it should be published already and didn't need the editing? or you feel like in general, one doesn't need to pay for an editor?

As for the publishing aspect, I'm not really looking to learn about publishing. I am going to sell it on kindle, but after it has had a thorough read through. My post was more about the editing side of things, I suppose.

I do feel like I need an editor. I had three people willing to edit, but the main person who was going to edit is tied up with family obligations. So I decided to send mine off to an editor, and she accepted. So now I'm just editing to get it ready to send it off to her.
 

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Actually you look like a smart person to me.  Why can't you make sure all your spellings and punctuation is correct and your story line is free flowing?  Just do the best job you can and then publish it.

You might want to convert your novel to a mobi book and put it on your Kindle.  Then have the book read to you.  If you hear anything you don't like, then make corrections.

Of course, if you feel that an editor is necessary, then go ahead.  You might not need it though.
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
I was wondering why you didn't publish it as a Kindle book using Kindle Direct Publishing? It is a free service and you will learn a lot about publishing by doing it that way.

I am assuming that you have to pay this editor for her to review your book. Do you really need her?
Even indies need a great editor. I just hired a great person (and a great friend!) to edit my latest. I didn't do that with the first book, and it suffered enormously. I have since edited it and re-published the changes, but I'm sure that beginning sales were hurt by so many typos and awkward phrases.

You have to let the editor know what kind of comments they are to be making: Punctuation/spelling? Phrasing and word usage? Plot/Character development? Formatting/Style? All-of-the-above?

The more you ask an editor to do, the more expensive it will be, of course.

After it is edited, THEN you can publish as an indie. Some people (a very select few) argue that we don't need an editor, but let me jump on the other bandwagon... your brain will delude you into thinking that you didn't make mistakes as you re-read your story. It will replace the typo words with the words you intended, thus masking them from your eyes. It is vital (if you want to be taken seriously) that you have several other people read your work and highlight those mistakes.

And a good editor that you can trust is a great way to get it done.

Just my $0.02. Hope it helps clarify things a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Franklin Eddy said:
Actually you look like a smart person to me. Why can't you make sure all your spellings and punctuation is correct and your story line is free flowing? Just do the best job you can and then publish it.

You might want to convert your novel to a mobi book and put it on your Kindle. Then have the book read to you. If you hear anything you don't like, then make corrections.

Of course, if you feel that an editor is necessary, then go ahead. You might not need it though.
haha, well I'm glad I look like a smart person. I seriously hope that helps me in the job market one day, because I get nervous during interviews lol

As for you question about why I can't just edit for basic punctuation and spelling: as Craig pointed out, even though I self-edited it, there are still some mistakes there. No matter what happens, it's unavoidable. I'd like to minimize this as much as possible. Besides, I think the story might flow well, but another might not. Basically, an editor is another fresh pair of eyes that I could use.
I think the topic of "editor vs. no editor" has been discussed on the boards at length. And for me, the pros outweigh the cons. So hey.
To each his own though, right? :]
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
Actually you look like a smart person to me. Why can't you make sure all your spellings and punctuation is correct and your story line is free flowing? Just do the best job you can and then publish it.
So, as long as a person "looks smart," then it's okay to publish an unedited book?

This is such bad advice, I don't even know where to begin. Never mind, I won't bother.

craigr1971 said:
Hey, don't be stressed over a job you are paying for! I read a paragraph or two. There are a number of errors. I will not pick-on you and point them out - that's the editors task. But seriously, if an editor does not embarrass you, they are not very good.
This is far better advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think my main question is when is your manuscript ready to be sent over to an editor? Is my first chapter good enough? How will I recognize when it's ready to be sent over? Is there a standard editors use to gauge whether or not a manuscript is ready to be looked at/edited?

Franklin Eddy said:
I think most people are a lot more capable than they realize.
While I agree with this sentiment, I think authors can be a little biased and unable to see certain flaws in their own work.
 

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It's ready when it's as good as you can possibly make it. When you have edited it yourself for grammar, punctuation, style, story, plot etc etc. Then either print it out or change the font size - anything to make it *look* different and you'll spot another load of errors where you've read what you intended to be there rather than what actually is there. Somebody on this forum suggested editing a paragraph at a time backwards, so you lose the story and see only the words. Not tried that myself, but it makes sense.

 

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PMartelly said:
I think my main question is when is your manuscript ready to be sent over to an editor? Is my first chapter good enough? How will I recognize when it's ready to be sent over? Is there a standard editors use to gauge whether or not a manuscript is ready to be looked at/edited?
You are asking a question that is impossible to answer well. It depends upon what you are looking for the editor to do, what shape your story is in and what shape you are in.

Basically, it is ready for the editor if the corrections you feel you can make are not worth your time to hunt them down--e.g. if you have to spend 10 hours to find a single typo. If you figure you can improve the work by yourself, then it's not ready for the editor. Why pay him/her to do what you can easily do? If you've come up against the wall, where you feel you've done the best job you can and you are looking for an outside opinion--then you need to go outside yourself.
 

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PMartelly said:
I think my main question is when is your manuscript ready to be sent over to an editor? Is my first chapter good enough? How will I recognize when it's ready to be sent over? Is there a standard editors use to gauge whether or not a manuscript is ready to be looked at/edited?
Take this with many grains of salt, but I would think when you can extract the most value from it, i.e., you can do absolutely no more on your own. You drafted and edited until you couldn't even see the words anymore, then you left it in a drawer until you actually thought about other things for days at a time, then you went back and did it all over again, and you are now convinced that you have written the very best book that you can at this moment in time. That's when you send it off for someone else to tear apart.

Does that sound bleak? It's not meant to be bleak. I think that's just writing - getting your heart broken over and over again, and then getting right back up and trying again. What was it Orwell said, a writer is someone who can face unpleasant truths? You seem willing to do that, so you should be good. I haven't read the chapter yet, but I will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
D.A. Boulter said:
You are asking a question that is impossible to answer well. It depends upon what you are looking for the editor to do, what shape your story is in and what shape you are in.

Basically, it is ready for the editor if the corrections you feel you can make are not worth your time to hunt them down--e.g. if you have to spend 10 hours to find a single typo. If you figure you can improve the work by yourself, then it's not ready for the editor. Why pay him/her to do what you can easily do? If you've come up against the wall, where you feel you've done the best job you can and you are looking for an outside opinion--then you need to go outside yourself.
Thanks for the response. And yes, I 100% agree with you. I think I'm just nervous. I'm just having super anxiety now for some reason. I think it's because I'm so close to the finish line. The past few weeks I've been very busy with finals and other things, and now that I know I'm going to be editing full time, I'm nervous. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
genevieveaclark said:
Take this with many grains of salt, but I would think when you can extract the most value from it, i.e., you can do absolutely no more on your own. You drafted and edited until you couldn't even see the words anymore, then you left it in a drawer until you actually thought about other things for days at a time, then you went back and did it all over again, and you are now convinced that you have written the very best book that you can at this moment in time. That's when you send it off for someone else to tear apart.

Does that sound bleak? It's not meant to be bleak. I think that's just writing - getting your heart broken over and over again, and then getting right back up and trying again. What was it Orwell said, a writer is someone who can face unpleasant truths? You seem willing to do that, so you should be good. I haven't read the chapter yet, but I will.
You're so right. I HAVE done the best that I can do. I have edited this so many times, I can't even begin to tell you the amount of energy I've spent on this. This is probably the best that I can do on my own. If my editor wants to tear it apart, then I welcome her to do so! I know it might still need some work, and I'm 100% fine with that. Thanks for the advice. :]
 

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DebBennett said:
It's ready when it's as good as you can possibly make it. When you have edited it yourself for grammar, punctuation, style, story, plot etc etc. Then either print it out or change the font size - anything to make it *look* different and you'll spot another load of errors where you've read what you intended to be there rather than what actually is there. Somebody on this forum suggested editing a paragraph at a time backwards, so you lose the story and see only the words. Not tried that myself, but it makes sense.
Print it out, leave it a month or two while you do something else and you will see it with a fresh eye when you come back to it.
 

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PMartelly said:
You're so right. I HAVE done the best that I can do. I have edited this so many times, I can't even begin to tell you the amount of energy I've spent on this. This is probably the best that I can do on my own. If my editor wants to tear it apart, then I welcome her to do so! I know it might still need some work, and I'm 100% fine with that. Thanks for the advice. :]
If you've done the best you can do by yourself, then that's when it's time to bring in the big guns. :D
 

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Oh, and I think it's totally normal to be terrified. Just remember that no one sends perfect books to editors; editors exist for a reason, after all. Some of the greatest books of the 20th c wouldn't exist without heavy, merciless editing. It's supposed to hurt - that's how you know it's working. Pain is the sensation of weakness leaving the body, etc. etc.

Oh man, I give depressing pep talks! I guess what I'm trying to say is, try not to worry so much. You've written an actual NOVEL. That alone is an accomplishment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
RedAdept said:
If you've done the best you can do by yourself, then that's when it's time to bring in the big guns. :D
Haha, Lynn is going to tear me apart, you guys. I'm going to have to don my combat boots and bullet-proof vest for this one. I have to put on my big girl pants and go into the trenches as a lone soldier. lol

Seriously though, I AM excited. And nervous. And excited. But mostly nervous. haha
I just edited that chapter again. I really think that that is it. This chapter is officially finished for me. I have truly done the best I can.
 
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