Friday, June 3, 2011

Editors and You

Workshop on Editing MuseItUp Conference June 4th

This workshop presented by authors of Muse Publishing runs through the entire month
of June. Every noon a daily noon sales table will be open to showcase the book special for 99 cents.
Everyday a new workshop on writing will be presented by a different author. Subjects vary, but all involve the art of good writing.

Welcome to my workshop on editors and editing.
My name is Inga Joan Hobernicht. I am author of Jeri Bittle published on line by MusePublishing. I t is a story about a Wyoming ranch housewife whose husband is murdered. I have two novels published by Publish America. I am an elderly retired country school-teacher. I have taken several courses on writing at the community college since retiring. We have four childen and ten grandchildren. I am pleased to present this workshop and I hope you enjoy it.

Editors and You

Editor: One who edits:
Edit: to revise, assemble, or prepare for publication:
(The Merriam Webster dictionary)

Job description of a novel editor: http:/
Should have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in English, literature, creative writing, or a related field.

WE will discuss:

The Importance of Editors:
Choosing editors
Disagreeing with editors
Working with editors


A reader likes to enjoy the read and not be distracted by irritating errors. Besides the obvious; correcting grammar, punctuation,spelling, and typos, the content and flow of the manuscript must be addresssed.
the editor looks at the story with fresh eyes.
EXAMPLE: Of course you know Hetty is John's aunt, but did you inform your readers of the relationship? a professional editor can spot that immediately. This type of problem exists in sequels time after time.

Some publishers use two types of editors; content, and line.
The content editor checks for the flow of the story. Does it begin with a situation that draws the reader into the plot and make the reader want to read more? that is called a "hook."
Are transitions from one scene to the other clear? are characters remaining in character? are the subplots in sync with the main one? does the story maintain the reader's interest, or does it ramble off into unecessary back story or description?
The content editor looks for these problems and more.

The line editor keeps her eye on the form of the manuscript. The reversed quotation mark, the omission of commas,spelling errors, basic grammar, incorrect usage of pronouns, headings, hyphens, margins,numerals, parenthesis, quotations, references, and many more do's and don'ts.
Do you have something that turns up in your work frequently? (an overuse of a certain word,too many 'ands', and not enough commas. It is so easy to become lax in checking my grammar. (I thought Iknew it all)
I would like to hear about your reasons for having your manuscripts edited.
My next post will be at eight Pacific time.


jabberingjo said...

OH, dear, I posted before I found spelling errors. I don't practice what I preach. Please forgive me. I'm writing this tonight as I don't want to get up at four in the morning.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the post. You ask for our reasons to have our ms edited. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that readers like to enjoy the read without being distracted by irritating error. We owe it to our readers to present them with the best possible copy. We can't do that without editors who are expert in their craft. I am too close to my work to notice inconsistencies and typos that I've passed over a dozen tumes. Also, like you mentioned, we tend to forget readers aren't mind readers, nor can they visualize a scene unless we spell it out. Editors keep us honest! :)

Rosalie Skinner said...

Well said Joan, I think the editing process is vital to producing good clean manuscripts. It is also a great time for the author to learn their strengths and/or weaknesses and hopefully apply what they learn to their next manuscript.

Anonymous said...

Great post and great comments. Too many errors in a story or book will definitely turn off a reader.

Nan D Arnold said...

Gifted editors are able to see the big picture and what will make a book better--while writers are so involved with story, they can easily miss scenes that add little to the plot (but we love those sooo much). Which is why we need an editor. And, as Susanne said, anything that takes a reader out of the story is dangerous--because they may pick up another book.

Lisa Forget said...

Thank you for giving us a detailed description of both content and line editors.

With 6 pieces being published only in November (1 with Muse, the other 5 with 2 other publishers), I've yet to work with the editors assigned to my short or flash fiction. I have, however, worked with other writers in critique forums and have enjoyed doing that very much.

I look forward to both the experience and the chance to learn more about myself as an writer, from those who, like Wendy said, are experts in their craft.


Cellophane Queen said...

I love the idea of a line editor. I liked the finds by my LE (thanks, Penny!) for Missing. It gave me confidence in the final product (well, almost final).