16 Jan 2017

batsutousai: (HP-obeyme_Voldie)

(Disclaimer: So, this is a little bit aimed at a particular author – they probably know who they are – a little bit born from Mum going off on another one of her rants about dumb authors who ask for an editor and then ignore our suggestions.)
(What right do I have to this topic, you may ask? I've been a writer for *muffled number* years, and I've utilised a beta reader for probably about ten years now. Probably about six years ago, I took up the task for beta reading fanfiction for other people, and I've since added editing 'real books' in the past three or four years. I'm hardly an expert, but I've been in this game a while.)

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So, you're looking to get someone to edit your work! That's awesome! Fanfiction or original fiction, either is a great choice! And I'm not saying this because I think you're a bad writer; human beings make mistakes, it's what we do, and there's generally no shame in that. (I mean, if your mistake involves wiping out an entire country, that's a problem, but for most of us, that just involves overcooking the pasta and things like giving a character a third hand.) If you're a traditionally published author, the publishing house is going to be passing your work through an editor, because chances are pretty good there's something you've missed, which is especially true in longer pieces.

Here's the thing, though, about asking for an editor, which not all authors seem to get: You are asking for their time and their expertise. Your editor wants to help you, that's why they're there! (For original fiction, they may also be there for the money, but they're generally offering their services because they want to help someone.) If you're going to ignore your editor's suggestions out of hand, you're not looking for an editor; you're looking for someone to read it and gush, which isn't what your editor is there for. (Although we're certainly happy to gush if we enjoyed it!) If you don't like something your editor changed, that's fine, change it back; we all have our personal styles. If you're confused about why your editor made/suggested a change, ask them.
The other thing to remember, of course, is to give your editor time. A 'beta reader' is your second reader (assuming you, the author, are the first). That means they get it second. (Or third, or fourth, or however many beta readers you've actually scripted to help out.) If you're incapable of waiting to give the general populace a piece until after the beta reader has had a look, you're not looking for a beta reader; you're probably looking for a reader willing to point out mistakes. Which some will do, but most won't make that a priority, and plenty won't think to point errors out at all.

Okay, so, there's a few different ways an editor can look at your work:

Read more... )

That was both....longer and shorter than I expected, somehow. ^^; Thanks for bearing with me, folks.

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