Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let's talk about editing.

First of all if you're not an aspriting writer, this post will complete bore you. So, consider yourself warned if you choose to keep reading past this point.

Jaime is my editor and new BFF. I'll explain later.

Right now I want to tell you what to expect when you get your manuscript back from the editor.

I can't speak for other editors, but Jaime is very organized. She color coordinates her changes. Gray means to delete, yellow is change wording, etc. etc. turquoise with a hint of yellow with cream around the edges means...etc etc. (yes, I'm joking about the 'pink with a hint of yellow'...)

I was pretty fortunate in the fact that I didn't have a lot of grammatical/spelling issues to deal with. Yes, I'm bragging. I'm a hillbilly, southern girl, and sometimes people just don't understand my euphemisms.

For example:

"Hot doggie on a rock!" means "Oh, my goodness! I'm so thrilled that..... I just won $50 on Scratch Off", or ...."that I just bought that Lily Pulitzer dress for 20% off"...or ..."we're having lunch at the Country Club with the Winslows on Saturday."(feel free to insert your own)

Okay, I'm getting off the beaten path, aren't I? So...back to what happens when you get your manuscript back from the editor.

You are expected to make those changes within a certain amount of time. I have 15 days. Scary, huh? While I didn't have many of the issues I talked about above, there were some other things she wanted me to change or add to. See! If Jaime were reading this, she'd scratch out the 'to' at the end of this sentence. Once hillbilly language.

Which brings me to the final point of why my editor, Jaime, is my new best friend forever.

Because I am not as good as I think I am. Nor will I ever be. Ever.

If you're going to be a writer - hey, I'm talking to myself here as much as I am to you - you have to get over yourself. It's a craft you hone for the rest of your life. You never really 'arrive.'

MORAL: Don't ever think for a minute you can do this without an editor! Even if you are going to self-publish, hire an editor! I've read two books that had great plots, but the execution of both plots was absolutely awful! I was embarrassed for the authors. I don't have to like a book to appreciate it. But these were grammatical, punctuation, and (GASP!!!) spelling errors. Almost every book will have some kind of error, but these? They were incredibly obvious...i.e. instead of "Come on!", it was "Common." "Noveau Riche" was spelled "Novo rich". Once again, I was really embarrassed.

A good editor may do all your re-writes and changes for you. But a great editor points out what is wrong as well as right about your project. A great editor will discuss ways and ideas for you to to make your story compelling and entertaining in ways you never imagined.

I didn't think I had anything else to give to "False Victim." Wrong.

With Jaime I feel I'm being challenged to dig even deeper into my creative energy. I really felt like my creative well, on this plot, had run dry. Not so. That, my friends, is the type of person you want for an editor. Someone that make you achieve what you thought was unachievable.

Until next time....


P.S. It is easy to become so engrossed in your project to neglect yourself. As a result I won't even tell you how much weight I've gained (boo-hoo!). But it's important that you not sit all day. Get up. Move around. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Better yet, ride a horse!


Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Okay, since I want to become a writer I will have to train myself to quit using "to" at the end of my sentences, too! Heh!

Oh, and I'm a walker and that is something I hope to keep doing even if I write a book, I did four miles at the mall this morning and I'm so sore...I had laid off it a bit around Christmas and WHOOOEY...what a mess I am!

I just can't wait for that book to come out. And by the way, Kathie, I think you're as cute as a speckled pup....can't see where you've changed a bit!!!!

PS: "Cute as a speckled pup" is something my Alabama man says to me, it's not meant to offend, it's a high deep southern compliment!

Summer is a Verb said...

Is that any relation to, hot diggity dog??? XXOO

trash talk said...

How about personal fave? If that is what extra pounds looks like....girl, bring it on! Is that going to be your photo for the dust jacket? It's beautiful...really!
Thanks for all the great information. Some of us really need this kind of help info and more!
P.S. When do you hit the road?

sherri said...

I don't know anything about being a writer, I'm not even much of a reader (sorry, but can't wait to read yours!), but I do know that you are an amazing women, no matter if you talk "hillbilly" or not! You look great, smile and be proud of you, I am!

Pearls and Grace said...

Congratulations to you!!!!!!

So happy that you have such a wonderful editor! Thank you for all of the tips too! I write the same way that I talk as well....I speak southern honey! So I know I am going to need an editor!

Congratulations again on your book deal.....what an incredible blessing!!!

Big Hug,