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I always like to meet new authors and talk to them; as much as I’d love to work with every author I meet, I don’t expect that to be possible.

However, for the ones I do get to work with, I’ve come up with some suggestions that will help our work flow go as smoothly and quickly as possible. (Some of these would help with any possible publisher or editor.)

  • I prefer to get your work in digital form; whatever word processing software you use is fine because my software should be able to open it so I can edit and proofread and mark up. However, to be absolutely sure, you can always save your work as an RTF document. When you first save your document, that type should be one of the choices. If you’re not sure, contact me.
  • If I’m going to edit your manuscript, I expect and strongly encourage you to send me your input as we work through it together. I would suggest before we start, however, that you have a very trusted friend or mentor look over the manuscript before we begin and give you some input. This person will know you better than I do, at least until we get farther into the process.
  • It’s probably also a very good idea to run a basic spell check and grammar check using your word processing software. Most do it automatically and will alert you with red squiggly underlines. If you’re not sure about what to do in some cases, just leave it and I’ll take care of it.
  • At the point we start, I’ll be able to see your story with “fresh” eyes because I won’t know the whole story. I can see what might need to be filled in or better explained. I’ll also make any changes I feel are necessary for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and how the story flows (possibly re-arranging sentences, for example).
  • After we start, we should limit the number of people working on any particular section at one time to you and me. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLY IMPORTANT. Adding another person can cause chaos or confusion. If I’m working on a particular section and you’re also working on it with another person, I may be changing things that end up not even being in your final draft. In fact, once we start the editing process, I think no one else should look at it until we’re done. As I stated above, get your trusted friend’s input before we start...  I’ve seen some writers who almost let someone ruin a book for them, because they wanted to keep making changes after we’d gotten to a good working manuscript.
  • My goal during my editing/proofreading process is for the changes or corrections I make to be so seamless that you as the author can look at it and not be able to see what I’ve changed. It’s very important for  it to remain in your voice. That’s one of the most important parts of the entire process. If I change the story so much that it no longer sounds like you, I haven’t done my job – and sometimes that might mean leaving some grammar intentionally incorrect. Imagine a southern person speaking and not once dropping a “g” – as I like to say, that ain’t right!
  • As I said earlier, the most important part of our work together will be communicating our thoughts and ideas. If I make changes that you don’t like or agree with, and you don’t tell me, then I can’t do my best. This is your work, your baby, your story- my job is not to change it into something else, my job is to help it get “born” and available to the public.



Author: Beth R - Categories:

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