Forum Replies Created
March 21, 2020 at 2:20 pm in reply to: Advice please – re-editing something already edited by a professional #87418
All went well and another former student (now layout designer) of his is doing the layout and changes are all easily made before being sent to the printer.March 20, 2020 at 3:22 pm in reply to: Advice please – re-editing something already edited by a professional #86937
Thank you, Jennifer!March 20, 2020 at 9:16 am in reply to: Advice please – re-editing something already edited by a professional #86809
I agree, Jennifer. And I plan to take him up on getting paid. It’s a much bigger project than I originally thought, especially now. But, all that said, I still don’t have a profitable business, nor years of experience doing this full-time, so I need the experience and the testimonial too. Therefore, not charging what a super experienced editor would is in order.
I just found out the former editor is having serious eye problems, which now explains a lot. He voluntarily stepped away because he realized he was not able to do it.
There is quite a bit of inconsistency – as well as major problems – in punctuation/italics, some word choices, numerals, tenses, names. There is very little in the way of developmental editing needed. The ones already completed by the former editor have already gone to the designer. I’ve seen the layout which is quite nice, but it will all have to be redone if I am permitted to re-edit those. I’m not a layout/design expert so maybe that is not a big deal to just delete and re-insert text. I don’t know.
If I am not permitted to re-edit, there will be significant differences in those and the ones I edit. However, the author is a very laid back, easy going guy who listens well and I don’t see him having a problem with my re-editing. The only problem is the required time and inconvenience of it.
Last night, I sent him my first edited profile and asked if this is what he is looking for. If not, let’s talk about it and readjust my approach. I also said I would send him a separate email on some observations about the previously edited ones. I’ve not sent that yet. I am thinking to send him a couple of them, with no editing but with highlighted areas that need editing (and with explanations as to why). All of it is defensible and it will no doubt bum him out, but I doubt he will question it. Does that seem okay – to send a copy with highlighted areas and explanations about why they need to be addressed?
Yes, that all makes perfect sense. Thank you, Jennifer.
Wednesdays are my LONG days and so I’ll never be able to meet with you all on time. Thank you all for articulating a lot of what has been going through my head about this book. I was initially hooked by the lovely prose and rhythm of his individual sentences and I still am in awe of some of his constructions, but I agree with so much of what you all pointed out.
My biggest takeaway questions are:
Why would an experienced writer (or anyone for that matter) believe that the time jumps between such short chapters would work for story and for readers? I can see that sort of thing happening in initial drafts that were pulled together before publication, but to make it all the way to print surprises me.
What kind of editor doesn’t point all this out? OR is it that the publisher was too in love with the prose to notice anything else and squashed a good editor’s contributions? OR is it that an experienced, previously published author has so much sway in the editing/publishing processes that he/she can override anything a solid editor queries?
Hi Jake. There are screens for computer monitors that help cut down on blue light/glare. I use Theraspecs glasses which cut down on blue light/glare. I also always keep my monitor on night which produces a warmer light, easier on the eyes.
Thanks, Jennifer. I think that is definitely my takeaway here.
I really love that idea about the cat on the dog’s mat–about 10 minutes ago my dog was whining and circling her bed because my kitty was on it. The drama in children’s lives is HUGE; it’s just different than adult drama. I wish I knew a lot more about the art of nailing YA writing. But I do remember being a kid all too well and all the things I thought were life/death at the time. Looking back, those conflicts are humorous or just tiny little speed bumps compared to adult conflicts. But as a kid, I read a lot of YA books and they meant a lot to me (Someone finally gets me!!!).
I lost a possible job this week because of specificity, I think. I found that interesting. A teaching colleague of mine referred a PhD student to me. She emailed me and said she had a 23-page paper and asked for an estimate. I wrote back a very friend note with very specific questions about it and how I couldn’t provide a clear estimate without knowing many of the answers and seeing something of her writing to determine my time. She never responded. Since I’ve spent so much time in the academic world, I was proud of myself for (I thought) asking the right questions, but instead it drove her away.
I think people who are new to using an editor or have used casual editors are not aware of what goes in to assessing a manuscript.
I felt kinda bad about it afterwards because I wanted the job. She is from Mexico and is working on important issues happening in Mexico that intrigued me. And I love working with second language learners.
As a PhD student (no doubt with little money), she probably just wanted an “Of course! Send me your paper. It’ll take me two hours and I only charge $15/hour.”
Has anyone else felt like they have scared clients off with specificity?
Nice choice for a discussion. I read this with one of my advanced ESL classes I taught several years ago and so it’ll be interesting to reread with all of you.
I’m so sorry that I couldn’t join but I just enjoyed reading everyone’s contributions. Is the main organization that you all meet at a particular time to discuss it and then the discussion closes?
In case anyone checks back in, I was super excited to read this book, falsely thinking it would make me feel the way A Girl of the Limberlost did/does. The POV shifts, time jumps, crime investigation, abandonment issues, and many of the other things you all mentioned also drew me out of the story. I truthfully ran out of time to finish it, but I got pretty far in and found myself less and less interested in picking it back up.
This is the author’s first attempt at fiction, I believe, and I also was super excited about her being a wildlife scientist. I thought it would enrich the descriptions of the landscape, which I think it did but all too sporadically.
One paragraph I really liked:
“… Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land that caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”
(Is there a way to edit our posts here?)
Some of the things we do in our Slack group:
* Every couple of weeks we discuss another chapter/corresponding exercises from The Copyeditor’s Handbook.
* Something we’d like feedback on (resume, website, LOI, challenge with a client)
* Technical issues (using Word functions, big file transfers, etc.)
* fiction vs nonfiction
* (many other topics)
Everyone in my group has more professional experience than I and so I think I am benefiting more than anyone.But I have other experience they do not so it all works out and I’m so grateful not to be alone with some of the questions I’ve asked.
I love this! I’m so stealing it 🙂
It’s not exactly straight networking, but I am part of a great group of editors (formed from one of Jennifer’s courses). We connect on Slack. Many things come up that I feel new editors especially find invaluable. No question is too silly. We all respect each other and our different levels of experience. I would recommend any one of them to a client I couldn’t help. It’s a great way to learn from each other, develop trust, and have colleagues I feel great about sending writers to.
I am glad you brought this up, Jennifer. I too used to think that it was important to include specific physical details about characters. I’m not even sure why I developed that thinking in the past. I’ve recently gotten hooked on the Scarpetta books by Patricia Cornwell. I’ve been paying close attention to how she describes and differentiates characters and their characteristics. I haven’t noticed eye color or height or dress styles or hair color/style or weight, etc. being blatantly singled out as important for understanding and being drawn to the characters. And I don’t miss these things. I find her a skilled writer and I am not having any difficulty picturing all of her characters and what makes them quite different from one another.
I remember recommending to a writer once that she could improve her characters by describing them physically. Fortunately, someone else (a great fiction editor) was involved and gently asked “Why?” It was an excellent moment for me because the writer’s characters were not evolving and coming through for other reasons that I couldn’t see at the time. Having my recommendation questioned by a very experienced fiction editor, and then having her help me understand her thinking, left a big impression on me and I was grateful. It actually led me to write a flash-fiction story in which I left so much to the imagination that you didn’t even know if the main character was male or female. It got honorable mention in a contest–which can seem a disappointment but it is really a compliment as well as a little kick to do better next time.