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Old 11-13-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
lovecraft68
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Suggestion about 'rating' editors.

I know Mistress Lynn has set some rules for threads here, but I think this qualifies to be here.

First off let me say that as far as VE Editors go I appreciate the fact that these people are willing to give their time to try to help people out. I also understand at the end of the day its free and you get what you pay for.

I don't expect the VE Editors to be professionals or even have worked in that type of field. What I would expect just in common sense is that for someone to think they can edit they should feel they know something of the English language.

After going without and editor for awhile, I was getting tired of having the same "good story, but grammar issues" comments and figured I would seek one out. I found one here in the available editors thread and they did a story for me.

When I got it back I noticed there did not seem to be many changes, but thought well, maybe I'm improving. Then I noted that once the sex scene started there was not one change. Not one. I would have thought okay, maybe it squicked them, but when they gave it back they called out how hot the scene was and why so they read it.

That made it occur to me that once the heat started they just turned into a reader and lost all focus on what they were doing. In my final pass I found several things on my own. I posted the story and as I do gave the editor a nod.

I then received the same bad grammar comments including one entitled "this was edited?" I also received a private one that called out several mistakes.

I know its free, but I got a little pissed. Fact is if you don't know anything about cars would you offer to fix your friends breaks? Of course not, so what possesses people to say they know their grammar when they don't? I mean I've improved, but if you can;t find a few mistakes in anything I write, you're pretty bad off, because grammar has always been my weak point.

What I am getting at is I think on the VE profiles there should be a way to rate the editors. Not stars or anything fancy, simply a "satisfactory, unsatisfactory" something to tell another author, yeah don't waste your time.

Does anyone agree with that, or am I just being to hard on people? I don't believe so for the simple reason that now that I've been here awhile newer authors will ask if I'll look at their story and help.

I always say yes, but the next thing I say is I'll only make comments and suggestions on the story itself. I will not speak about grammar, because I'm awful at it. Is it too much to ask for the same from an editor?
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Iím not sure rating editors is the answer. Although I believe the VE program needs updating, ratings are opinions, which isnít a very solid way to rank someone. For example, my definition of satisfactory might not be the same as yours, LC.

I agree that someone should know the basics about editing before offering to help. They should do more than correct a few typos. Who decides whether someone knows enough to participate in the VE program though?

Youíre right. Lit is free and you get what you pay for. That doesnít mean you shouldnít expect the editor you choose to have a decent level of editing knowledge. But too often, those offering to help . . . shouldn't.

I hope others add their thoughts as well.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Being edited is similar to the "can't get a job without job experience" Catch-22 experiences. In most cases an author can't tell whether or not their work has been competently edited unless they are a trained editor themselves or unless they run the work through several experienced/trained editors and do comparisons of advice. So, there are probably more folks satsiftied with their volunteer editors here who really shouldn't be than there are ones who aren't satisfied--and know why (and the kicker, know why better then the editor did).

Best you can count on here is a second pair of eyes, which is useful because no one can edit their own work--they are too close to it and miss what they didn't actually write because their brain sees only what they meant to write). Again, having the second reader is very valuable, and that's probably what most of those who are still in the VE program are and should be calling themselves. Because most of them don't have the training to be exercising the responsibility of editing someone else's work.

That said, some "good to have" ideas are expressed in the OP--but "and then what"? Nobody with the power to do anything is either reading this or is (based on historical perspective) going to do anything. They aren't even going to do any fixes to the current "system" (probably not enough of it left even to call it a system).

The best that can be hoped for, I think, is for those willing to help authors tone up their Literotica stories to be honest with themselves and the author on how much help they can give--they can, in fact, give valuable help, even if they aren't trained editors (and some of them probably are). By giving "help" they weren't trained to give, calling it an edit, and giving the author the impression it follows industry standards thereby, they can be damaging not just the work at hand, but the writer's ongoing works. And the author may never know what misinformation and bad writing habits they were given for the next time they write a story.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Being edited is similar to the "can't get a job without job experience" Catch-22 experiences. In most cases an author can't tell whether or not their work has been competently edited unless they are a trained editor themselves or unless they run the work through several experienced/trained editors and do comparisons of advice. So, there are probably more folks satsiftied with their volunteer editors here who really shouldn't be than there are ones who aren't satisfied--and know why (and the kicker, know why better then the editor did).

Best you can count on here is a second pair of eyes, which is useful because no one can edit their own work--they are too close to it and miss what they didn't actually write because their brain sees only what they meant to write). Again, having the second reader is very valuable, and that's probably what most of those who are still in the VE program are and should be calling themselves. Because most of them don't have the training to be exercising the responsibility of editing someone else's work.

That said, some "good to have" ideas are expressed in the OP--but "and then what"? Nobody with the power to do anything is either reading this or is (based on historical perspective) going to do anything. They aren't even going to do any fixes to the current "system" (probably not enough of it left even to call it a system).

The best that can be hoped for, I think, is for those willing to help authors tone up their Literotica stories to be honest with themselves and the author on how much help they can give--they can, in fact, give valuable help, even if they aren't trained editors (and some of them probably are). By giving "help" they weren't trained to give, calling it an edit, and giving the author the impression it follows industry standards thereby, they can be damaging not just the work at hand, but the writer's ongoing works. And the author may never know what misinformation and bad writing habits they were given for the next time they write a story.
This. And trying to change their bad habits isn't easy.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MistressLynn View Post
Iím not sure rating editors is the answer. Although I believe the VE program needs updating, ratings are opinions, which isnít a very solid way to rank someone. For example, my definition of satisfactory might not be the same as yours, LC.
Not only that, but what if you get mad at the editor helping you and you start a "trash the editor" campaign.

Let me give you an example, a few years ago, when I was still editing like crazy, a certain writer wasn't too happy to see an edited copy of his/her story lit up better than a Xmas tree. (I use a red pen, a blue pen, a pink pen and a green pen). His story wasn't bad, it's just that every "rule" he could break, he did. Homonyms left and right, homophones by the dozen, tense changes that made no sense, continuity issues etc... I tried to be as nice as I could before sending the edited copy. I had sent him a note telling him not to freak out when he'd see the edited copy, (much too much send and see in that last sentence) and that I would explain every "correction" made by IM.

Unfortunately, he didn't like to see all those colours and he started a "bash the editor" campaign. So now imagine ONE writer acting like that and multiply this by the number of people you can upset during a week. Can you picture how disastrous it would be for that editor's reputation? That "rate the editor, the writer, the whatever you want to rate" is a double-edged blade and is very easily mishandled.


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Originally Posted by MistressLynn View Post
I agree that someone should know the basics about editing before offering to help. They should do more than correct a few typos. Who decides whether someone knows enough to participate in the VE program though?
Neither you nor me. I've never heard of anyone who's been denied to be on the list, have you? That main editor list has been dead for quite a while now.

Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to completely trash it and start anew. Contact every editors who are currently on the list and have been active in the last six month, ask them to have a few writers vouch for them or whatever other method, get the 'new ones' to do a quick "test" of their ability as an editor, and then once a year or more, or less, whatever, ask every one of us (still active editors) to "do a refresher class."

Sr71plt is one with lots of editing knowledge, I'm sure there are more and they could "sit down together" and come up with some kind of "lesson". They could "build it", oversee them and submit their recommendations to Laurel. I'm pretty sure that if we asked nicely he/they would be happy to help. I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here, Sr.



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Youíre right. Lit is free and you get what you pay for. That doesnít mean you shouldnít expect the editor you choose to have a decent level of editing knowledge. But too often, those offering to help . . . shouldn't.

I hope others add their thoughts as well.
Re-reading myself I hope I'm not too hard to understand. Heavy pain medication coupled with tiredness and migraine could make for a hard to follow LadyCibelle. If that's the case I apologize, and return you to your usual usual programming.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:08 PM   #6
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And so the wheel turns.

I'm not meaning to be demeaining, LC. But this is a road that has been traveled before, and by me. And I don't wish to mis-speak and anger Lady, so I will talk in general terms as I have very few brain cells left and will hopefully die soon as a UNIT under the Obamacare plan.

I was very, shall we say, excited at having found a home for my erotic writing some 8 - 10 years ago. And I was ready to change the world -- have a test for editors, et al. But I was discouraged and told that would never happen.

And it hasn't. Hell, if there was a test I probably wouldn't even pass -- ammo for SR71. I have read a lot and know what sounds good, good enough to CLEP 6 credit hours of English. But I can barely tell the difference between a homonym and a homophobe. Well, maybe one carries a gun, just saying.

Accept Lit for what it is, my best advice.

As Obama said, you can't change the government from within. Then he elects to get re-elected. Makes one wonder.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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editing

All of these comments have been very interesting and quite well spoken. However there is also something else to consider, maybe minor and maybe others have not dealt with it, but in just a few short months of editing I did have this issue...

I edited a story, and yes I have a background there, and no, I'm not claiming to be perfect. However, I edited a story and the author sent me back an email saying "thanks for the work but I think I'll leave it the way I wrote it." HIS choice, as it IS his story. I asked him NOT to give me an editing credit. He did anyway and there were quite a few errors in the story. And someone read it, and commented on the lousy editing. When the actual truth was, because of his decision there was zero editing in reality, even though I tried...

I think he hated all the passive sentences I made comments about.

So, it's not always the editor I'm thinking. But, based upon comments, perhaps it WOULD be better to call it volunteer reading at times, because SR is correct, once you've written it, and done your first rewrite, then your own edit, you about have it memorized and you can no longer do your own edit...

I also have a question for all you VE's: I encountered a guy, and no, no names please- He asked me to edit a story, I did, but I stopped because he didn't use any punctuation at all around quotation marks.

When I asked about it he said, he made an intentional choice not to follow the general rules and wanted to do it his way. (I was looking at it because it had been rejected).

I've never encountered that before, has anyone else?

--Marie
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:27 AM   #8
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In my first chapter of an ongoing series, I'm looking for an editor btw, I deliberately didn't use punctuation in my quote marks as they were text messages and not many people punctuate texts. Needless to say it got rejected, but that is the only time I have made a decision to not use punctuation.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerdrew73 View Post
In my first chapter of an ongoing series, I'm looking for an editor btw, I deliberately didn't use punctuation in my quote marks as they were text messages and not many people punctuate texts. Needless to say it got rejected, but that is the only time I have made a decision to not use punctuation.
What did you do with that one? This is a case where you probably could have just resubmitted with the note on the punctuation used being for stylistic purposes and it would have posted.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:03 PM   #10
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I did put punctuation in and resubmitted and got it accepted.

here it is if you want to read it. Im currently looking for an editor but the 2 I contacted through the list havent replied
http://www.literotica.com/s/a-week-of-training
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:07 PM   #11
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I did put punctuation in and resubmitted and got it accepted.

here it is if you want to read it. Im currently looking for an editor but the 2 I contacted through the list havent replied
http://www.literotica.com/s/a-week-of-training
Ah, I see. Rather than setting the material off, you have it buried in sentences. Yes, then it needs to be properly punctuated.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
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All of these comments have been very interesting and quite well spoken. However there is also something else to consider, maybe minor and maybe others have not dealt with it, but in just a few short months of editing I did have this issue...

I edited a story, and yes I have a background there, and no, I'm not claiming to be perfect. However, I edited a story and the author sent me back an email saying "thanks for the work but I think I'll leave it the way I wrote it." HIS choice, as it IS his story. I asked him NOT to give me an editing credit. He did anyway and there were quite a few errors in the story. And someone read it, and commented on the lousy editing. When the actual truth was, because of his decision there was zero editing in reality, even though I tried...

I think he hated all the passive sentences I made comments about.
Oh, dear; it happened to all of us at one time or another, I'm sure. That's another reason that makes it really hard to "define" who's a good "editor" or not.



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So, it's not always the editor I'm thinking. But, based upon comments, perhaps it WOULD be better to call it volunteer reading at times, because SR is correct, once you've written it, and done your first rewrite, then your own edit, you about have it memorized and you can no longer do your own edit...

I also have a question for all you VE's: I encountered a guy, and no, no names please- He asked me to edit a story, I did, but I stopped because he didn't use any punctuation at all around quotation marks.

When I asked about it he said, he made an intentional choice not to follow the general rules and wanted to do it his way. (I was looking at it because it had been rejected).

I've never encountered that before, has anyone else?

--Marie
A few times for me. It's either laziness that they try to pass as "writer's stylistic prerogative" or they just don't know any better but are not ready to accept that you do know better in that case.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerdrew73 View Post
In my first chapter of an ongoing series, I'm looking for an editor btw, I deliberately didn't use punctuation in my quote marks as they were text messages and not many people punctuate texts. Needless to say it got rejected, but that is the only time I have made a decision to not use punctuation.
For texts I use italics and give them a separate line, as if it were dialogue
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:51 PM   #14
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For texts I use italics and give them a separate line, as if it were dialogue
I haven't used texts yet, but this seems like a workable method. Whether it's correct according to publishing guidelines, I don't know.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
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For texts I use italics and give them a separate line, as if it were dialogue
If I have a text exchange, this is what I do. If it's just one line, I italicize it in the sentence -- well, depending. I did that in my R&B story at one point. Seemed to work well enough.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #16
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If I have a text exchange, this is what I do. If it's just one line, I italicize it in the sentence -- well, depending. I did that in my R&B story at one point. Seemed to work well enough.
Actually I asked this in a thread awhile back if Italics were okay and everyone who responded (most likely you were one of them) seemed to think it was okay.

Wonder if the "CMS" has gotten around to this yet.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:06 AM   #17
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Unless or until the Chicago Manual of Style establishes a different case for computer/phone text (which I haven't seen that they have), there's no reason why they should be rendered differently from the standard rendering of any quote from a previously published source (at least in U.S. style. The British style might be different): Roman font inside double quotes for run-in material (as in the example today on another thread on this forum) or as block quotes (for material of 100 words or more and/or at least six lines of text) by setting if off from above and below by an extra line feed and running it in Roman font without quotes. The kicker for Literotica is that block quotes should also be indented (from the left--and some do it from the right too), but I'm not sure you can get that done in the Lit. format. It probably wouldn't be necessary here. The CMS also says a smaller font can be used for block quotes, but I don't think that's an option at Lit.--and I see it done less and less in mainstream books. (CMS, 13.9 and 13.10)

That said, at Lit. I don't see why you couldn't use the italics--as long as you were consistent. I think the intent would be clear enough.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:24 AM   #18
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I appreciate the pointers, it was something that didn't really cross my mind at the time.
If I use texts in future chapters then I will offset them and use italics.

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:21 PM   #19
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Unless or until the Chicago Manual of Style establishes a different case for computer/phone text (which I haven't seen that they have), there's no reason why they should be rendered differently from the standard rendering of any quote from a previously published source (at least in U.S. style. The British style might be different): Roman font inside double quotes for run-in material (as in the example today on another thread on this forum) or as block quotes (for material of 100 words or more and/or at least six lines of text) by setting if off from above and below by an extra line feed and running it in Roman font without quotes. The kicker for Literotica is that block quotes should also be indented (from the left--and some do it from the right too), but I'm not sure you can get that done in the Lit. format. It probably wouldn't be necessary here. The CMS also says a smaller font can be used for block quotes, but I don't think that's an option at Lit.--and I see it done less and less in mainstream books. (CMS, 13.9 and 13.10)

That said, at Lit. I don't see why you couldn't use the italics--as long as you were consistent. I think the intent would be clear enough.


Yes you can. If you use the HTML, <block quotes>, </block quotes> it works perfectly. You complicate things.

I think the above explains why the EF doesn't get enough traffic. Even I struggled to get to the end of an over-convuluted (and incorrect) paragraph.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #20
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I posted that I wasn't sure that Lit. could handle indentations, not that it couldn't. That's not misinformation.

And I think that Elfin is a major reason real editors don't provide more activity/help in this area of the forum. If I know that she's just going to continue nipping at my butt when I post help, I tend not to (which, of course, is her goal), because I don't want the forum constantly soured by her vitrol.

I don't think that the constant backbiting is going to attract posters to this forum. So, I think a major problem here is Elfin.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:45 PM   #21
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Yes you can. If you use the HTML, <block quotes>, </block quotes> it works perfectly. You complicate things.

I think the above explains why the EF doesn't get enough traffic. Even I struggled to get to the end of an over-convuluted (and incorrect) paragraph.
Disagreeing with a post can be a great way to discuss a topic. However, do not include personal arguments and attacks. Stay on topic.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:33 AM   #22
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Returning to the original subject . . .

I understand that there are a lot of drawbacks to the concept of rating editors, but I'm in a situation where it is called for.

I encountered an editor who did a good job for me, & would like to give him a shout out. But being a newbie, I don't know where or how to do it.

I do have some experience with story critiques -- I've taken several fiction writing classes where critiquing stories was how things were done -- & was in a critique group for several years, so I think I know what a good editing job is. (And no, the guy didn't say my story was the best thing he's ever read: he simply made several intelligent comments about it which I found very useful & am still processing.)

So is there a way to commend a volunteer editor? If not, can one be created?
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:54 AM   #23
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I understand that there are a lot of drawbacks to the concept of rating editors, but I'm in a situation where it is called for.

I encountered an editor who did a good job for me, & would like to give him a shout out. But being a newbie, I don't know where or how to do it.

I do have some experience with story critiques -- I've taken several fiction writing classes where critiquing stories was how things were done -- & was in a critique group for several years, so I think I know what a good editing job is. (And no, the guy didn't say my story was the best thing he's ever read: he simply made several intelligent comments about it which I found very useful & am still processing.)

So is there a way to commend a volunteer editor? If not, can one be created?
You should check with him first to be sure he wants the recognition. If he is okay with it, then you can add an author's note to your story thanking him for his help, etc. Not all VE's want public recognition for the help they give to others.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:18 AM   #24
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You should check with him first to be sure he wants the recognition. If he is okay with it, then you can add an author's note to your story thanking him for his help, etc. Not all VE's want public recognition for the help they give to others.
I was already planning on thanking him that way. I hoped there was something I could do to let others know I recommend him as a VE.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:29 AM   #25
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Posts: 45,457
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenMiletus View Post
I was already planning on thanking him that way. I hoped there was something I could do to let others know I recommend him as a VE.
If he's all right with it, you can make a thread here in the EF sharing your experiences with him. Others have recommended the person helping them that way.
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