Indies Who Are Looking For an Editor:
DO YOUR RESEARCH. PLEASE.
By Kayla Howarth, indie author
Over the last few months, I’ve been contacted by people offering editing services. As someone who has been screwed over a lot in the past, I’m wary. But I realised today that there are so many new authors out there, and any of them could fall for the bullshit lines these people are trying to sell me.
You know that old saying, those who can’t do, teach? What does an author do when their books aren’t selling? I swear a lot of them these days are waking up and saying “I think I’ll be an editor today.”
Now, I’d love to be paid to read other people’s books and help them out. But there’s one thing I recognise that most of these other authors don’t. And that is I’M NOT QUALIFIED TO BE AN EDITOR.
My copy editor/proofreader (*waves* Hi Kelly Hartigan, you’re the awesome to my sauce … or something like that) has said to me that my drafts I hand over are some of the cleanest drafts she’s ever seen. And you know what? She still has hundreds of corrections to make. Aside from being too close to the project, I also don’t know every grammar rule in the book. MOST AUTHORS DON’T. I have serious issues with commas. In particular, omitting them when they are needed before a conjunction separating two different clauses (look at me! I have the lingo down … but please don’t quiz me on using the rule), and then adding them when they’re not actually needed. *sigh* I give up. I’m sorry I’m not learning, Kelly. But hey, I barely leave participles and modifiers dangling anymore 😉
I’ve asked some of these authors who are trying to now break into the editing business what makes them qualified. I’ve heard all different types of answers:
View Original Post and Continue Reading: Indies who are looking for an editor: DO YOUR RESEARCH. PLEASE. – Kayla Howarth
The Six R’s of Revising Your First Draft
The Six R’s of Revising Your First Draft
- Reading as a reader
- Rewriting sentences or sections for clarity and flow
- Replacing weak words with stronger words
- Relocating paragraphs and chapters
- Removing sentences, paragraphs, and scenes that slow the story’s pace
- Restructuring your story
- Let it sit for a few days.
- On the first read-through, read as a reader. Don’t read as a writer or an editor. You want to experience your book like your readers will.
- Some writers print their first draft. It can be easier to leave notes on a printed version.
- Focus on the big-picture items first (e.g., pacing, plot, structure) and then on characters and dialogue.
- Awkward wording: highlight words/phrases that don’t sound right or don’t make sense.
- Pacing: watch for parts of the book that seem to slow down and drag. Make a note of these parts as this is where readers could potentially stop reading your book.
- Plot holes and inconsistencies
- Poorly developed or extraneous characters
- Coincidences and too-convenient leaps of logic
- Long, rambling conversations or sections of narrative full of detail (a.ka. information dumps) that can slow pacing and don’t advance plot or reveal something about the characters
- “Pet” or “favorite” words and other words/phrases that are repeated frequently.
- Passive vs. active (telling vs. showing) words and scenes
- Telling how the character feels instead of showing how the character feels
- Scenes that use vague details instead of concrete details
- Does my story make sense?
- Does my story flow smoothly?
- Are transitions smooth or jarring?
- Is the plot compelling?
- Are the main characters well-developed and likable with strong goals and sufficient motivation?
- Do character evoke an emotional response?
- Are any characters flat and one-dimensional?
- Are there any inconsistencies with timing, setting, plot, and character descriptions?
- What is dialogue like? What dialogue tags are used? Are action beats used? Is it essential to the scene? Does it reflect the character speaking?
- Is the opening compelling? Does it “hook” readers?
- Are there scenes and/or actions that are boring or too similar to other scenes and/or actions in the story?
- Are scenes a good mix of narration, action, dialogue, and insight?
- Is there enough conflict and tension?
- Are any actions unbelievable?
- Is the ending satisfying or unsatisfying?
- Has the conflict been resolved at the end?
- Is the POV effective and consistent?
What do you find the most challenging about the revision process? Is there something you like/dislike about the revision process? Please share your opinions on the revision process in the comments below.
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