Old 06-06-2013, 06:08 PM   #1
jezzaz
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Come on then...:)

I need an editor. I've been resisting, but I do. I'm too wordy, some of my sentences go on for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles etc.

I sometimes have small syntax glitches and, my favorite of all, missing words.

I'm prolific and I love to write and I need someone to look stuff over, do syntax checking and also comment on content. I have to say I'm pretty strong willed when it comes to that,- I make my own choices about what to change or not, - but I *am* interested to hear what other people think.

I'm starting out a series of stories right now and I have the prequel written and I'd love to get something regular going (ohh errr!) with an editor that wants to help.

Pretty please with sugar on top?
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #2
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You need to state the story categories, as well as the word count--the two most important pieces of info for an editor.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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I think you scare off a bunch of folks by establishing from the top that you're looking for someone to be in shackles to you for free and serving your dream into infinity. Think you'd have a better chance to ask for help with one existing story manuscript and maybe go from there later.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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I'd be willing depending on length, category, etc., but I'm put off by your admission of being strong-willed and presumably resistant to change. And I'd agree that you're probably better to start off small and see how things go from there.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:04 PM   #5
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It takes talent to edit and writers can kill the will of the editor.

My husband tried it - twice. The first was a woman who edited one of my stories. She was strong willed and argued hard against every suggested change, even ones supported by various writing sites. While going back and forth with her, a second woman from another country (English not her native language) engaged him. Her work was a mess technically and grammatically. There were more words in corrections/comments than the story.

Since we were about to retire and move, he withdrew from the editor pool because he couldn't afford the time commitment or deal with 'strong willed' writers. They both applauded his editing.

My husband says it's hard to edit another person's story, often lacking enjoyment from the story or having pride in the contribution. My novel (his major work) is easily a different experience.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:44 PM   #6
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There are different levels of "strong-willed".

Just ask my editor how hard it is to get me to change anything I've written as character dialogue. He nearly faints on those rare occasions when I do accept a suggested change there.

Otherwise, it's a give and take - mostly me giving ground. Mistress Lynn knows how that goes from doing content reads on my Magic of the Wood series. I'm perfectly reasonable about taking suggestions, but when it comes to certain elements, I will stand my ground, and explain why I'm doing so. It's no different with my regular editor, Roust.

Having just read through and done some red-penning of jezzaz's current storyline ( targeting dialogue punctuation issues - one of Laurel's pet peeves, it seems ) I can tell you that he accepted the good with the bad in a perfectly reasonable manner. I've got another doc of his waiting for me to review for a content impression, and I don't have the slightest qualms about doing so.

Just thought I'd toss that out there
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:54 PM   #7
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There's no reason an editor needs to argue with the author here over anything. The author is the last one who has the piece before it's submitted, so all of the responsibility for the story is on the author's shoulder. The editor should make his/her suggestions and that's it. It's up to the author to accept them or reject them--and to take total responsibility for what is submitted. If the author wants to argue, they can just find another editor the next time. (They might even be right, because there's nothing here that ensures that the "editor" knows anything more than the author does.)
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:33 PM   #8
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Strong willed in this case was asking for justification for suggestions (mostly punctuation rules). When web sites (I want to say Chicago Writing Style but won't bother getting it exact) were referenced, the writer denied they were valid. Okay, why ask for editing if you accept nothing and go against accepted standards?

I shouldn't bother addressing generalized attacks about what the editor might know from anyone who wasn't involved yet judges. You accept nothing but your own ideas and resort to insulting anyone who contends counter ideas.

The aforementioned writer begged my husband to keep editing (two more stories) because nobody did such a thorough job as he. But his will was killed and that is unarguable.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:44 PM   #9
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And I wasn't addressing you, Sandra. If I had been I would have quoted what I was responding to.

I didn't read far into your post because I couldn't figure out you were saying was editing who. ("My husband tried it [editing] - twice. The first was a woman who edited one of my stories. She was strong willed and argued hard against every suggested change . . ." Who's editing who?)
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:04 AM   #10
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Thumbs up

LOL.

OK, yeah, perhaps I come on strong.

My issue is that my experience with editors had not always been good. I used to be the guy running a print magazine (Yes! How quaint!) - I was given the brief to create it, recruit writers and so on. I was also given an editor by the publisher and told I had to use him.

The battles with this guy were legendary. His syntax checking was awesome, but, as was always the case, he'd then write a critique of the article or story, and then tell me "This shouldn't be in the magazine" or "This needs to be re-written from scratch" or "This is just inappropriate".

He reminded me with a lawyer I once had to work with in my day job who just simply did not grasp the fact that he worked for me. A good lawyer takes whatever you want to do, tries to find a way to get it done and then gives you options and possibly warnings. But at the end of the day, he does what you want him to. This guy kept just saying No to everything. "You shouldn't do that." "This is too risky" etc etc.

I've worked with one editor (other than my good friend, Mr. Dark) who also did his job, and then some, telling me how my story needed to be reworked into something completely other than what it was meant to be. If I'd have done what he suggested, it wouldn't have been what I wanted to write in the first place. I had a real hard time explaining that his changes would make it something that I wouldn't have written. It was even worse when his changes were directed towards making the piece "More mass market". It's very hard to argue against that sort of thing because it makes you look small minded and just bloody obstinate, you know?

I don't mind suggestions on how to restructure a sentence or to split up dialog or any of those things; that can only increase my craft and frankly, all suggestions are gratefully noted. I remember having one friend read my first book and said "It's great, but everyone sounds British." which is awesome feedback. I spent a lot of time restructuring dialog based on that, and he was right.

What I object to is "I think the ending doesn't make sense. You might want to try X or Y" or "She doesn't behave in any way believable.".

I don't want to change the story I am telling, but some editors seem to feel that in order to have a sense of shared involvement, that I need to do that, so they have some impact, you know?

What I was trying to say was "This is my story. I want to tell it in a specific way. Please let me do that."

Does that make sense?

I think it's all about personal relationships too. Darkniciad, for example, just radiates reasonableness and it's really hard to feel impugned or pushed in any way with his approach. In fact, frankly, given our interactions to date, I would probably just take any suggestion he made verbatim because in my experience finding someone like that is so rare.

Or it could just be that I'm a pushy bastard, too

Oh, and it's the LW section. I should have mentioned that. My bad. Usually chapters are about 10k words, and I expect 3 or 4 stories of about 3 or 4 chapters each. So probably between 90 and 120k words in total, though spread out over a couple of years (I do have a day job and another novel to finish and a video game to finish making and a script to write and a....).

I'd really love someone who was in the long haul with me, who understands where I am going with this and what the intention is...

Last edited by jezzaz : 06-07-2013 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
There's no reason an editor needs to argue with the author here over anything. The author is the last one who has the piece before it's submitted, so all of the responsibility for the story is on the author's shoulder. The editor should make his/her suggestions and that's it. It's up to the author to accept them or reject them--and to take total responsibility for what is submitted. If the author wants to argue, they can just find another editor the next time. (They might even be right, because there's nothing here that ensures that the "editor" knows anything more than the author does.)
Well said. I make suggestions to authors and I tell them it's their call as it's their story. One issue I have though is that some authors tend to think the editor should be able to make a story shine, when the story actually needs more revision by the author.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezzaz View Post
LOL.

OK, yeah, perhaps I come on strong.

My issue is that my experience with editors had not always been good. I used to be the guy running a print magazine (Yes! How quaint!) - I was given the brief to create it, recruit writers and so on. I was also given an editor by the publisher and told I had to use him.
This is a different kind of editing here. You are not submitting to an editor who controls either whether or how it's going to be published. The Web site determines whether it will be published, not whoever is editing your work. You're the last one who holds the text and the one who submits it. There's no reason why the editor's involvement doesn't end when the edit is delivered to you. It's up to you what you use of that and what you don't. Your will, either strong or weak, needn't come into it at all. There's no reason for you to argue with the editor at all.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:58 AM   #13
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Talking

I started a thread along the same lines only approaching it differently and God knows I'm not competitive but its had 1653 views- just thought I'd mention it because knowledge is power and as anyone will tell you I'm not gloating because I'm not competitive.

The truth is I'd be an absolute sod to Edit for and you'd be even worse. What you are proposing would be as much fun as a hearty helping of broken glass for lunch. All I've heard so far has been one huge effing ego trip.

All the Editor needs physically is the story you want edited but he/she needs a reward and the nicest one I can think of is appreciation along with the satisfaction of having made a difference.

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Old 06-07-2013, 08:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezzaz View Post
What I object to is "I think the ending doesn't make sense. You might want to try X or Y" or "She doesn't behave in any way believable.".

I don't want to change the story I am telling, but some editors seem to feel that in order to have a sense of shared involvement, that I need to do that, so they have some impact, you know?

What I was trying to say was "This is my story. I want to tell it in a specific way. Please let me do that."

Does that make sense?
It makes sense, but that strikes me as too defensive. Because what if you're wrong? If, for example, the ending doesn't make sense, why wouldn't you want someone to point that out? To me that would be a major flaw in any story and if it was my story, I'd want it pointed out at least for my consideration.

It's not about sharing involvement with the editor (or anyone else), it's about telling the story in the best possible way.

I completely agree that the final say on any story on this site, at least, is with the author. So if you don't want to accept an editor's suggestions, that's fine. But I get the impression that you don't want to accept them from the outset, except perhaps when it comes to punctuation and other mechanics, so I don't see the point in giving the content-related feedback that you say you're interested in.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:38 AM   #15
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Editing is like every other form of counseling, one part of us wants the help, and another part of us refuses it. I call it the ARCHAIC CHILD part, its stubborn and defiant and believes in Santa.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:47 AM   #16
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If you think you're hard enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jezzaz View Post
I need an editor. I've been resisting, but I do. I'm too wordy, some of my sentences go on for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles etc.

I sometimes have small syntax glitches and, my favorite of all, missing words.

I'm prolific and I love to write and I need someone to look stuff over, do syntax checking and also comment on content. I have to say I'm pretty strong willed when it comes to that,- I make my own choices about what to change or not, - but I *am* interested to hear what other people think.

I'm starting out a series of stories right now and I have the prequel written and I'd love to get something regular going (ohh errr!) with an editor that wants to help.

Pretty please with sugar on top?
I don't know if this writer is from the UK but if he/she is, the full challenge goes "Come on then, if you think your hard enough."

Certainly not something I would say to someone I was asking to do me a favour, even with a smiley face.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #17
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I get where he's coming from, as well as everybody else. Its been said though. You as an author have the final say. If an editor makes a suggestion about the plot or other story elements, it should be something to consider, but it isn't something you have to do.

I've seen this work out both ways. Editor informs author of a glaring hole in the story, and author stands firm to receive poor story reception. Editor suggests changing certain elements to follow a different route, author declines, and story isn't hurt by the choice. Most times I feel an editor would not point something out unless they sincerely thought it would be detrimental to the story in some way, or something just wasn't right or didn't work. Communication is the key, as cliché as that sounds, because a good working relationship can overcome most obstacles.

Now, personally? Unless I specifically ask for suggestions about the flow of the story, I'm not looking for any creative input. I'll write it that way, because that was the vision, and if it turns out great or questionable, that's how it sticks. The magic is either there for me or it isn't, and there's no way of knowing until you just write the damn thing. Don't change the ending, or the beginning, or the twist, or the climax... nothing. Suggest it sure. I'll think on it, but a writer does what he/she does because it flows from within. Inspiration is all around, and others have great ideas, but the story has to be MY masterpiece, mediocrity, or pile of filth. And I'll learn along the way what worked or not, and what I like and don't like.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #18
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Now, personally? Unless I specifically ask for suggestions about the flow of the story, I'm not looking for any creative input. I'll write it that way, because that was the vision, and if it turns out great or questionable, that's how it sticks.
That's fine as far as it goes. But pointing out plot holes or character inconsistencies isn't necessarily creative input. If you have a character, for example, who is allergic to peanuts and then later eats peanut brittle with no ill effects, that's a major inconsistency. Would you not want an editor, or probably more accurately a beta reader, to point that out?

Hopefully an editor and/or beta reader will help you achieve your vision.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #19
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Yeah stuff like that is fine. That's a mistake, not plot suggestion. It needs to be dealt with. Had several mistakes like that myself.

But just changing the way the story goes just because the editor thinks it would be better? Nah, sorry. If it flops it flops. Write your own story.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #20
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Yeah stuff like that is fine. That's a mistake, not plot suggestion. It needs to be dealt with. Had several mistakes like that myself.

But just changing the way the story goes just because the editor thinks it would be better? Nah, sorry. If it flops it flops. Write your own story.
What you are saying is fine and an author can choose whether to take the editors advice or not. It is, after all, the author's reputation that is at stake. However, if an author acts like a prima donna and refuses to even consider changes then they aren't going to keep an editor.

What we should be working towards is a relationship with our editor based on mutual respect. As an author we need to OBJECTIVELY assess what our editor tells us and make a decision based on that. It does no one any good to adopt a "don't tell me how to write a story" attitude.

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Old 06-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #21
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Yeah stuff like that is fine. That's a mistake, not plot suggestion. It needs to be dealt with. Had several mistakes like that myself.

But just changing the way the story goes just because the editor thinks it would be better? Nah, sorry. If it flops it flops. Write your own story.
It's not necessarily because the editor thinks the story will be better their way, but because they think it will flow better, or more naturally, to the author's vision.

I have read, and edited, stories where the characters do things because the authors want them to, and not because it flows naturally from the way the character is established, or the situation. I will point this out to the author; I am wiling to be told I misread something (because sometimes I do), but I hope the author would extend me the courtesy of considering my point and not dismissing it outright.

I am not saying that an editor should re-write an author's story, at all. I am saying that as an author, if you engage the services of an "editor" -- whatever we take that to mean -- you owe them at least a consideration of the points they raise, since they've spent the time reading over your work.

And I said before, but briefly, that hopefully an author and an editor will find a way to work together so that the editor can help the author achieve their ends, and the author might be open to the idea that there are other, if not better, ways to achieve those ends.

Last edited by PennLady : 06-07-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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