Editing is More Than Owning a Red Pen!

red-pen-editRecently I had someone contact me about being an editor. They were a student, they were new to the craft, and they wanted to learn what editing was so they could become a full-time editor someday.

I am always looking for qualified and talented people to edit so I said, let’s take a look at what you do.

I sent her a chapter of my next novel and let her go to work. She was quick in returning my chapter and so I opened up the file to see what her thoughts were and what her editing prowess may be.

I’ve hired professional editors and I’ve also used friends of mine that are teachers, librarians, and avid readers with anal tendencies to what books should be like. What I’ve learned is that not everyone is an editor even if they think they are.

Editors are a certain breed. They see your mistakes in a work that you won’t because you’ve read it three thousand times and your brain just glosses it over. Even more, they see when you’ve re-named a characters kid another name. Editors are there to search the nooks and crannies to find the errors, inconsistencies, and make your work flow.

Yet this person has been ever elusive to me. I’ve had some close calls to finding someone who I really trust, but I’ve not found that symbiotic relationship that I’m searching for. I am still missing the editor that gets my work, sees the flaws, and simply makes it better.

Let’s go back to the editor-to-be that contacted me. She’s new, wants to edit, but doesn’t really know how to do it. So I went back through the edits she made and made my own notes.

I told her ‘writers are creative people so you don’t want to make demands in your notes’

And ‘As an editor you shouldn’t rewrite things and tell them to use it’

I gave valuable advice on how to really work with authors. Guess what, I never heard from her again.

Finding an editor might be the search for the holy grail, however, I’m not giving up. Every book I’ll try someone new until I find the person that the doves fly out of my computer and the world trembles just a little bit at the joy of a perfectly edited manuscript.

Lorena Bathey

Follow me on Facebook and you’ll see portions of my new novel, Coaster, which is being heralded by reviewers as the must read book of the summer. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lorena-B-Books/138014032926011?ref=hl

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