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http://bitchstolemyjag.tumblr.com/post/83404652488/jenndoesnotcare-bothersomewords-the-writers

quietsuperstitions:

jenndoesnotcare:

bothersomewords:

The writer’s editor: a project | Bothersome Words

jenndoesnotcare:

bothersomewords:

I’ve always had the best working relationships with editors who are very experienced and who aren’t afraid of just digging in, with good reason of course. I don’t necessarily feel it’s important to have that much in common, in terms of genre, but they need to “get” my writing style and have an appreciation for that. I actually find having some distance in terms of genre can help to tighten up the story sometimes. I absolutely loathe editing though so I need someone who isn’t afraid to get in there and really go to town, and if something isn’t working, I need them to tell me that.

I’ve been very lucky to have had editors at uni who pushed me out of my comfort zone by delivering really well-considered critique and giving me options for expanding my frame of reference, ie reading new authors to see how they handled a situation etc. But the editor also has to be willing to let matters stand if we discussed it and I offered a good argument for it. I crave constructive criticism, that’s always worked for me. I guess the most important thing I look for in an editor is mutual respect and understanding. You both need to be very clear about your relationship and what you expect out of that.

Distance can be really helpful - an editor who is not familiar with a genre might pick up on things that seem obvious to people who know the tropes (for want of a better word). They can sometimes be more likely to notice when a particular aspect needs a more thorough explanation. It means they can help make sure readers who might be new to a genre aren’t alienated by assumed knowledge.

It’s important to work out what you’ll want from the edit though - if you want someone who can fact-check, or who can make sure your work adheres to certain genre-expectations (or challenges them!) it can be helpful to work with someone who does have knowledge and experience of your genre/topic. Otherwise you might find half your edit, and their time, is spent querying or researching things unnecessarily.

Though, again, sometimes really useful considerations can come out of this, so it’s not always a bad thing.

http://jenndoesnotcare.tumblr.com/post/83398237939/bothersomewords-the-writers-editor-a-project

bothersomewords:

The writer’s editor: a project | Bothersome Words

jenndoesnotcare:

bothersomewords:

Writers! What would

Thanks again!
Editors are very well aware of the trust involved in a writer handing over their heart work. I think it is always good if a writer can get a look at an editor’s portfolio and see what other things they’ve worked on. Ask lots of questions, so you can get a feel for personality and approach and, if it’s important to you that they like the same books etc - talk to them. You should work out pretty quickly if they’re on the same wavelength - or whether that will even matter. You may decide it doesn’t because they’re approach is a perfect fit anyway.

In terms of feedback, it’s never simple as “it’s boring”. A good editor should be able to explain why something doesn’t seem to be working for them and give you ideas for how to resolve this. Those ideas may be more or less specific, depending on how you, and your editor, work best.

The writer’s editor: a project | Bothersome Words

itsnotchancemrholmesitschess:

jenndoesnotcare:

bothersomewords:

Writers! What would your perfect editor look like? I’m doing a research project, and I’d like to speak to you.


 Conversation online (here, or on the blog, or on Twitter) is welcome and encouraged. But if you’re heading to LonCon3, NineWorlds, FantasyCon or the Edinburgh International Book Festival later this year, I’d love to chat in person, too!

My perfect editor: someone who loves my work but is not afraid to say “we can make it work better IF” and then proceeds to list the reasons!

Bonus wants: editor may also love Rainbow Rowell, LM Montgomery, YA, and have a healthy appreciation for Lee Pace

I think that, especially in a freelance setting, it’s important for editors to tell writers what kind of editing they offer, and for writers to tell editors what kind of editing they are looking for. You say in the post linked to above that editing should not just be about correcting spelling mistakes etc. Well, substantive editing shouldn’t, no. But that’s pretty much all copy editing or line editing is for (fixing spelling and grammatical errors, and correcting to house style where applicable). So if you hired a copy editor to do a copy edit, there’s no point in criticizing them for not doing more than that. Communication is key here.

If I was looking for a substantive editor to help me edit a novel for publication, I’d look for someone who can and will edit for plot, characterization, and continuity. As you say in your post, I would want someone who will help me tell the story I want to tell, in the best way possible.

I would also very much appreciate questions or constructively phrased criticism rather than bluntly pointing out ‘errors’ - e.g. “Why did you do this?” as opposed to “This is wrong - take it out.” I say this not only in the interest of avoiding hurt feelings but also because, at this level of critique/editing, the line between an ‘error’ and a ‘stylistic choice’ is much less easily drawn.

I hope this is helpful!

Thanks so much for reblogging and replying!

(Advance apologies - my answer got a bit long)

I definitely agree that editors need to be clear about what they’re offering. It’s all about having a clear brief from the start and making sure that the writer (or publisher - whoever is hiring the editor) is getting exactly what they are asking for. Both sides need to understand and agree on what they expect from the edit.

As you say, this is especially important for a freelancer who may not only offer distinct services, but who may be working with writers who do not understand what sort of edit they need, or what it involves. It is also important to clarify with publishers, who might all have slightly different interpretations of edit levels.

Also, I have worked with publishers and authors from around the world and the USA, Australia, and to a lesser extent, the UK, do not all have the same expectations and understanding of each editing term. The editor needs to make it clear what they mean by a copy edit, or a line edit, or whatever, and to compare that against what their client is expecting. Again, as you say, this comes down to communication and making sure the brief is clear.

I did ramble on a bit in my original post! I fear my message may have got a little lost. I am not looking to redefine editing by any means. I do not mean to say that editing “should not” just be about correcting spelling and grammar etc. Indeed, sometimes that is precisely what someone is after and a lot of editors specialise in that kind of service. What I am looking to do is find out how the other abilities and knowledge many editors have can be best utilised.

I know that a lot of us are able to help with less obvious things, if only people knew they could ask. I am often asked in conversation for advice or guidance that doesn’t fit neatly into “copy edit” or “substantive edit”… which is why I am asking these questions of the world at large! This is less about changing the kind of edits people already offer, and more about seeing how such services could be broadened and adapted to offer extra information or support that writers need and want. This is also why I am interested in talking to writers and creators from other fields (fanfic, film, comics) - so I get some different ideas about what is possible and available…or missing.

For example, I often work with writers who self-publish and who have no idea what to expect from an edit - or what publishing will involve for them. Since they have never been locked into a traditional publishing system, they have no preconceived idea about what process they “ought” to be replicating, and can often be clearer about what they’d find helpful. Yet sometimes they also need someone who can give them the kind of feedback they would only otherwise receive from an agent or publisher.

Similarly, when I work with traditionally published authors they are able to articulate more clearly what they feel is missing when working with a publisher - either because there is a service they once enjoyed earlier in their career that is no longer offered, or because there is guidance and support they need that just isn’t available via their agent or publisher.

Not every editor will be able to step in and offer what an author wants; not every editor will want to. But editing is often misunderstood and I think there are ways for us to help.

Oh - and I couldn’t agree more about asking questions over black-and-white correcting. Style can trump rules and sometimes the key s to ask why a writing choice was made rather than assuming the choice was wrong.

The writer’s editor: a project | Bothersome Words

jenndoesnotcare:

bothersomewords:

Writers! What would your perfect editor look like? I’m doing a research project, and I’d like to speak to you.


 Conversation online (here, or on the blog, or on Twitter) is welcome and encouraged. But if you’re heading to LonCon3, NineWorlds, FantasyCon or the Edinburgh International Book Festival later this year, I’d love to chat in person, too!

My perfect editor: someone who loves my work but is not afraid to say “we can make it work better IF” and then proceeds to list the reasons!

Bonus wants: editor may also love Rainbow Rowell, LM Montgomery, YA, and have a healthy appreciation for Lee Pace

Thanks so much for reblogging and replying!

If you can get an editor who shares your interests, particularly for similar books/films etc and so on, you have a much better chance that they will “get” what you’re trying to do. Which in turn means that when they’re offering you those lists of ways to make things better, they should be the things that not only work best with your story, but fit with how you imagine things in your head, as well. Or at least, should spark off your own ideas. Whichever works best for you. Understanding someone’s interests and influences is an excellent way to get a handle on their voice.

The writer’s editor: a project | Bothersome Words

bothersomewords:

Writers! What would your perfect editor look like? I’m doing a research project, and I’d like to speak to you.


 Conversation online (here, or on the blog, or on Twitter) is welcome and encouraged. But if you’re heading to LonCon3, NineWorlds, FantasyCon or the Edinburgh International Book Festival later this year, I’d love to chat in person, too!

The writer’s editor: a project | Bothersome Words

bothersomewords:

Writers! What would your perfect editor look like? I’m doing a research project, and I’d like to speak to you.


 Conversation online (here, or on the blog, or on Twitter) is welcome and encouraged. But if you’re heading to LonCon3, NineWorlds, FantasyCon or the Edinburgh International Book Festival later this year, I’d love to chat in person, too!

The writer’s editor: a project | Bothersome Words

Writers! What would your perfect editor look like? I’m doing a research project, and I’d like to speak to you.


 Conversation online (here, or on the blog, or on Twitter) is welcome and encouraged. But if you’re heading to LonCon3, NineWorlds, FantasyCon or the Edinburgh International Book Festival later this year, I’d love to chat in person, too!

On Fanfiction

tomw91:

roachpatrol:

valnon:

shadesofmauve:

I was cruising through the net, following the cold trail of one of the periodic “Is or is not Fanfic the Ultimate Literary Evil?” arguments that crop up regularly, and I’m now bursting to make a point that I never see made by…

Excellent points here. I touched on this a little bit here and here, but this is a really important point I may have missed or glossed over, re: fanfic stories:

The fact that it wasn’t in an original world or with original characters doesn’t necessarily make it less powerful to any given reader.”

On writing skills: Professional writing versus fanfiction (Part B). | Bothersome Words

How fanfic can help you write better

"…The fanfic community can be a safe space to learn about the writing process, and these days the internet makes it easy. Far from being lazy, fanficcers have developed their own approaches to writing and “publishing” ­– most of which are identical to processes successful pro writers use, though couched in slightly different phrasing.

If you want to develop your writing skills, you could do worse than to emulate some fanficcers’ processes…”

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