A question to those that have been in this situation...

psychotick

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Hi VB,

No, editing of whatever sort costs money and should really be saved for the end of the process. It should be polishing, not a complete rewrite. By that time the job at hand should be quicker for them - which might save you a little money - and more importantly if the book is already in good shape by the time it goes to them, the changes they make should be minor.

The last thing you want is to go to an editor and then have him / her make massive changes, tell you to write five new chapters and change a character's story arc, all of which means you're going to have to rewrite the book then give it back to him.

To give you some idea, mine go through two passes with my main editor, after I've had opinion on a few key parts of the book with another looking more at content. Sometimes it can be four passes. If I hadn't already gone through all the rest that could be ten passes I imagine.

Cheers, Greg.
 

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
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Hi VB,

No, editing of whatever sort costs money and should really be saved for the end of the process. It should be polishing, not a complete rewrite. By that time the job at hand should be quicker for them - which might save you a little money - and more importantly if the book is already in good shape by the time it goes to them, the changes they make should be minor.

The last thing you want is to go to an editor and then have him / her make massive changes, tell you to write five new chapters and change a character's story arc, all of which means you're going to have to rewrite the book then give it back to him.

To give you some idea, mine go through two passes with my main editor, after I've had opinion on a few key parts of the book with another looking more at content. Sometimes it can be four passes. If I hadn't already gone through all the rest that could be ten passes I imagine.

Cheers, Greg.

Hi Greg/Psychotick,

I see the points you are making and understand. However I think because of my relative inexperience of the whole industry, I haven't quite expressed myself properly so we're a little at cross hairs :)

So let me try and be clearer.

Firstly what wasn't on my mind: I don't want a freelance general Editor to rewrite my 2nd draft. And I definitely do not want any copy editing (on only a 2nd draft !! - I openly admit to being occasionally stupid, but even I know that would be an utter waste of resources :) )

What I was getting at:
- First let's drop the term 'editor' for this particular discussion with you, it appears to be a loaded word. Perhaps a better term would be a 'writing development coach' (oh ugly term looking back at it, but it it's functional and describes what I'm thinking :))
- The goal of said coach is not directly to produce a better next draft, but to improve the writers ability. (And by if working together this occurs, the writer will then by definition, under their own steam and judgement produce a better next draft, and better writing from then on...) In this case it's the writer's abilities for big 'novel-length' issues, such as characters and their development, plot & pacing etc... that get analysed for weakness and strengths.
- What I would not expect such a coach to get involved in is in more basic issues, such as grammar. i.e. I am making the assumption, that going to this coach, a writer would have a reasonably coherent and clear writing ability (I think if a good coach received a manuscript to that was stuffed with punctuation, spelling and grammar errors, then I'm sure they would politely suggest to the writer to go back and work on the basics.)



Now you might argue against what I've described above - you may see no need for someone to provide such a role. From what you describe as above, you are positively awash with quite a few serious editors who are more than willing to go through your entire manuscript a few times each. I am sooo jealous!!! :) No only joking - it sounds that your circumstances are very supportive for your writing which sounds brilliant, and it seems to me that for you positive developmental stuff is probably happening naturally. By comparison I am operating in a hard vacuum (I am developing, but it may be horribly wrong :p).

Also, yes there are a myriad of other ways to gain writing wisdom - so I'm interested in all viewpoints and suggestions from other's experience to see if any might suit me and is the my main reason I started the thread.

The final point that I'd like to make is I sure that such coaches do exist and that I know of several members of Chrons that have opted for something a bit like I describe above and appear to have extremely positive experiences.
 

Brian G Turner

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Teresa did a great job of kicking me into thinking how to make the story stronger. She called out a lot of weaknesses. I probably went to her too prematurely, but I just needed some professional direction at the time, and she gave me that.

I agree, line editing comes later. :)
 

psychotick

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Hi VB,

I get where you're coming from now. If you're after someone to mentor you through the writing process for a book could I suggest Laurance Daren King. I won't post a link since it might be seen as some sort of promotional thing. But I've used him for feedback on some of my chapters, and he does provide a full service taking a writer from the begining of a novel to publication.

Cheers, Greg.
 

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
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Cheers Greg,

Thanks for the lead, I will look into it. Your other comments were useful and I'm always fascinated in how other writers write.

(I call it a healthy curiosity, others call it nosiness :))
 

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