A quick post today, actually it’s more of a mini- rant, but I’ll include some awesome links to make it worth your while.
Thinking of hiring an independent editor for your work or planning to do some rigorous self-editing before publishing your masterpiece? Cool! Here are several links to get you started.
YOUR PERSONAL ONLINE CRITIQUE PARTNER
Autocrit Editing Wizard
OUTSTANDING EDITORIAL REFERENCES
Chicago Manual of Style Online
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
The Elements of Style by Wm. Strunk & E.B. White
Spunk & Bite by Arthur Plotnik
END OF HELPFUL LINKS. CUE MINI-RANT…
No names here, but I recently read a book in which the author thanked his independent editor lavishly in the acknowledgements. Thoughtful right? Well, I happened to know the editor in question, and she knows her stuff—I mean, seriously knows her stuff. So I was surprised to find the book full-to-bursting with typos, serious grammatical errors, and major plot inconsistencies.
Not being acquainted with the author, I emailed the editor and asked if it was possible the wrong version of the book was published, maybe an uncorrected proof? These things happen.
That’s when the editor shared her tale of woe. She’d edited the book gratis for a writer friend who’d decided to ignore all editorial input because he “didn’t have time to revise.” Um, ok. All well and good. I may not approve, but it’s the author’s prerogative.
But then the author turned around and publicly thanked the editor in print for her “invaluable help.” Argh!
Dealing with editors
Rule of thumb: when an editor suggests a change to enhance copy or story, it is up to the author whether to follow through.
A different situation exists when an editor points out blatant grammatical mistakes and plot inconsistencies, incorrect word usage, or sentences that read pretty but make zero sense. No author should consider these optional fixes.
I can’t imagine why a writer would enlist a competent editor and not heed his or her input. Of course, I know none of you would do this, but apparently it does happen. Go figure.
So, to writers who hire an editor then disregard all editorial feedback, it’s your book. But for the love of all that is holy, do not thank the editor in your acknowledgements! You are doing him or her no favors.
Have you or would you ever use an independent editor?
I haven’t had a reason to as yet, but I see an IE in my future.