I had the idea for this blog post a couple of days ago but needed to get the background bio’s from the two editors mentioned. In the meantime, my good friend and fellow author Billie Sue Mosiman posted a great blog about editing, so I have to link it quickly here. Go read it, and then come back and read mine. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Thanks for coming back. If you didn’t… well, then I’ll be wasting my breath cursing at you. Anyway…
I’ve had the privilege of working with quite a few editors over the years, both as an author and running my own small press publishing houses. Most of them are good at what they do, whether a line edit or deeper edit is called for. But, like Billie says, not all of them are worth the time and especially the money. But every writer worth his salt needs a good editor. You can look over your brilliant words a hundred times and not catch a spelling mistake because the story is in your head and from your mind. Trust me.
I’m not going to bash editors, but I have worked with some inept ones. Editors who are wanna-be writers and try to change your ideas and make them in his or her image, and that isn’t what an editor is supposed to do. They are there to make your thoughts better, and not to rewrite entire pages and change characters because they thought it sounded better in this voice. Um… leave my voice alone and suggest things.
Two editors I want to praise that I’ve worked with: Stacey Turner and Jenny Adams.
Stacey Turner has been reading my short stories on and off for quite some time, and she is one of those selfless go-to people I can count on. No matter how busy she is, she will always help me out with an edit on a short story I just finished and I’m submitting it to another market besides hers. I love working with her, and she has such fresh ideas for me. Each story has gotten better thanks to her. When my Tool Shed horror novella was accepted by her company, Angelic Knight Press, I was so happy to be working with her in an actual project she would be putting out. Of course, the red pen came out and she marked my pages like a madwoman, and mentioned (in passing, of course) that if she saw the word THAT one more time in my manuscript she would kill me. And you know what? I agreed with every single red mark she made, and the story was so much better because of it. She understood my voice, and she made suggestions to the storyline and to my grammar. I hope I can work with her again and again.
Jenny Adams is my second editor I want to do a shout out to. She came in at the right time, when Tim Baker and I were co-writing Dying Days: The Siege of European Village, and she took a no-holds-barred approach to our writing. She was nice but firm when it came to our words, and relished the challenge of working with two different authors and two different approaches to style and writing. But when we wrote together we found a great middle ground, one which made the story amazing, if I do say so myself. My favorite quote from her, when editing parts Tim Baker had written: “Tim Baker has a fleeting acquaintance with commas”. My prose was perfect. OK, maybe I did that THAT thing again… and another couple of things, but I digress. I loved working with her so much, and she asked many many questions about not only sentence structure but style and thought. I rightly handed her my Chelsea Avenue horror novel to edit for me before it is submitted to an agent. She is someone I also hope to be working with in the future on several projects.
I’m blessed to have found two great editors to work with, and I hope to keep working with. I hope every writer out there finds someone who understands what their raw first draft is trying to say and finds the greatest help in shaping it to be perfect.
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Stacey Turner lives way out in the country in West Central Illinois with her husband, son, and 5 cats. Most of her time is taken up with running Angelic Knight Press and editing, but she still finds time to review books & interview authors, write a blog about her absolutely ridiculous family, and write fiction. You can find her Author blog at www.staceyturner-authorspot.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter: @Spot_Speaks. To contact her about editing, you can email her at email@example.com.
She enjoys editing, because she’s bossy. And also because she enjoys helping an author polish their work. She has edited several anthologies, including the upcoming No Place like Home: Tales from a Fractured Future, as well as many novels & novellas for a variety of authors.
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Jenny Adams holds a degree in English and has experience teaching college Composition and Business Writing courses. She has written instruction manuals and policy and procedure documents. Her editing work includes essays, research papers, business writing, and fiction manuscripts. She has edited several pieces, including the upcoming horror novel Chelsea Avenue by Armand Rosamilia and Dying Days: The Siege of European Village, co-written by Armand Rosamilia and Tim Baker. Jenny can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org