An editor hard at work! What makes a good editor? Is it their knowlege of grammar, punctuation and spelling? That's an important part of it, for sure, but correcting grammar, punctuation and spelling is only one part of editing. That's what a copy editor does. But the developmental editing and line editing are just as important in the production of quality writing, and different skills are required for the different areas. A good editor in one area is not necessarily a good editor in all areas, and it takes more than a fancy piece of paper from a top university to make a good editor because in all but the copy editing and proofing, good editing relies on artistry and intuitive understanding of the author’s intentions as much as knowledge. So what makes a good editor? What makes a good structural/developmental editor? This is the person that does your manuscript appraisal and tells you how to improve the big story elements - the plot, characterisation, pacing, structure, … [Read more...]
How do You Know if Your Story is Worth Investing in?
An editing quote can sometimes be a shock, but a high editing cost just means that there's a lot of work that needs to be done on your book. The cost of the edit might make you wince, but what's the cost of not doing it? Is that story you've slaved over worth taking the next step? It's a question I've asked myself with every one of my books, and three times, I decided the story wasn't worth continuing with. Those unedited and unpublished books still remain in the archive folder on my computer, there to languish forever. Sometimes you just have to walk away. Other times, you need to take the plunge and put your money into your dream to make it a reality. And a full edit will not just make it a real book, it will make it a REALly good book! So how do you decide which category your book falls into? The one you should walk away from or the one you should invest in? That's what I look at in this video. https://youtu.be/gHAy1veZUI8 … [Read more...]
What Does Book Editing Involve?
You may know that your book needs editing before publishing - I certainly hope so - but do you know the answer to the question, 'What does book editing involve?' You may not know what having your book edited actually means. I've seen books by authors who swear that they have had their books edited, but all they've had done is a proofread! A PROOFREAD IS NOT AN EDIT Having your book edited isn't just finding someone to check that there aren’t mistakes in grammar and punctuation. The story, characterisation, dialogue, world building and so on has to be checked as well to make sure there are no plot holes and continuity problems. And (unless you're an experienced author who writes excellent prose) the prose needs to be worked on to make sure that it reads well - to make sure your book doesn't look like something a teenager might write. Most authors become too close to their work to see it clearly, and they can never see it from the perspective of a reader who has never read it … [Read more...]
Should we follow writing rules?
The debate. There has long been debate among authors as to whether or not they should follow writing rules. The opinions swing from the die-hard believers that good books must follow every ‘rule’ ever written to those who believe they should be ignored because following rules compromises their creativity. Many assume that editors must all believe in rigidly following ‘rules’, but that is not the case because editing is a lot more than just applying the rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation; at the developmental and line editing stage, editing is an art form where the editor makes informed decisions as to how to best communicate the author’s intent. It doesn’t have to be an either/or opinion. Personally, apart from the conventions of grammar and punctuation that remain current, I think of what some call writing rules as writing tips or guidelines. The idea is to use these guidelines in a way that will help, not hinder. Don’t concern yourself with them on your first draft … [Read more...]
WWW #14 Editing Lovers in the Forest
This post is part of 'WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS', a series of writings about Prunella (Ella) Smith, author, editor & reviewer, and the many worlds she inhabits: her physical reality; her online world where disgruntled author Dita stalks; the worlds of the books she edits; her dream world, and the world beneath the veil of her ordinary reality. Click here for the previous offerings in reverse order, or here for links to them in order. Today Prunella is editing a romance novel: Kelee's story. WWW#14 Lovers in the forest Kelee snuggled up to Blade, hoping that Miramar’s herbs worked. they did—mostly. She certainly couldn’t afford an unwanted pregnancy. Part of her knew it wouldn’t be totally unwanted though; if the choice were possible, she would choose Blade to be the father of the children she would one day have one day. Perhaps, if she did find herself pregnant with his child, they may allow her to marry him. She sighed and opened her eyes. The forest closed in around them like a … [Read more...]
How are the books going? Chop chop chop!
I haven't talked about what I'm doing in the writing department for a while, though I've been sharing my journey into the Upper Reaches of Diamond Peak with my Facebook fans. If you're not getting those scintillating updates (including photos to stimulate your--and my--imagination) then go to the page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tahlia-Newland-author/188047104605893?ref=hl, like it, then hang your curser over the like button and click on 'Show in News feed', even better, click 'Get notifications'. But to fill you in, Demon's Grip, book three in the Diamond Peak Series is in the hand of my trusty beta readers, and hopefully I'll get it back inn a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I'm revising book four, Eternal Destiny, which I haven't looked at for three years. I have to cut 30,000 words from it and I'm having no problem. My writing had improved enormously since I wrote this second draft, and there are many necessary scenes , extraneous paragraphs and passages that can simply be … [Read more...]