Monday, February 11, 2013

Posted by Laurel Garver on Monday, February 11, 2013 18 comments
By Charity Bradford, author of The Magic Wakes

Working with my editor was perhaps the most exciting part of this publishing process. Amie provided a wonderful mix of honesty and ego stroking. My guess is every great editor possesses this talent.

Before I started working with an editor I had plenty of time to get anxious about it. I kept hearing about these gut wrenching, full of red marks, your writing sucks and you’ll have to start all over kind of letters from editors. Well, no one actually said that last part, but I’d read about a lot of tears over those first letters from editors. Therefore, I waited with a lot of trepidation for that first letter.

I envisioned getting a printed out copy of my book full of slashes, hand written notes, etc. I was prepared to cry a bit before getting to work. Thank goodness that isn’t what I got. Instead I got a nice three page letter of thoughts. This included what my editor really liked, possible problem areas and definite plot holes. The best part was she even made a few suggestions as to how we could fix those problems.

After that first letter I realized a very important thing about working with an editor. This was a conversation. She wasn’t out to crush me, but help me make my story the best that it could be. I didn’t like a certain suggestion Amie made, but that suggestion sparked an idea that fit my character and still fixed the problem. When I shared it with her she was excited about it and supported me 100%.

Together we worked through three rounds of revisions and edits. The first round was what they call a macro edit and covered the big-picture notes Amie sent me on plot, characterization, scene impact, POVs, and some other elements. I took that 3 page editor’s letter and got to work.

A lot of times we just call this revisions. I cut a few scenes that were not doing anything, wrote some new ones to fill in the gaps, dug a bit deeper into a character or two, and basically “finished” the story.

The next round was line edits. This is where my editor used “track changes” to cut words, suggest words, make comments, and made sure my manuscript fit the publisher’s formatting guidelines. This was perhaps my favorite part. Why? Because I love getting a peek inside my reader’s head. If Amie had a question I saw it. If she really loved something, I saw it. This is how I critique other’s work too.

I worked, tweaked, polished. Amie checked my changes and came back with a few other spots that needed a bit more work until we reached the point that we both felt we were “finished”.

The last stage is copy edits. My publisher is hands on and took over here. This stage deals with the individual details—spelling, punctuation, typos, and word use. Karen noticed a lot of repetition and cleaned the manuscript a little more. This was all taken care of and then the book was designed and formatted before being sent back to me for a final check. I’m grateful to be with a group of professionals who know what they’re doing. When Karen sent the formatted pdf for me to review for I was so excited! It looked great!

All in all, the whole process was a great experience. I felt I learned a lot about writing clean. Things that I hope to incorporate into the next novel to make it even better. There is no reason to be afraid of working with an editor. Yes, they are going to point out the weak areas in your writing. It might even hurt. However, if you go into it with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and improve, you are going to become a better writer and put out a better quality novel.

 Who doesn’t want that?

Author photoCharity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. She’s the mother of four kids that keep her on her toes, constantly reminding her that imagination still makes the world go round. She lives in Arkansas with her hubby and children, and firmly believes that a smile can solve most problems. The Magic Wakes is her first novel.


The Magic Wakes

CoverTalia has a secret, one that will save her world and yet rip it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.

Scientist Talia Zaryn has always had visions of an alien invasion and of her own death. She’s kept it a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when her face in the mirror matches that of her dreams, she fears the dreams are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight. Talia’s work at the Space Exploration Foundation leaves no time for personal relationships, but Major Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend. He’s looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected and they can communicate telepathically. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.

Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.

 Book links: Trailer / 1st Chapter / Goodreads / Amazon

Where to find Charity: Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Website

What’s your biggest fear about working with an editor?

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences with your editor, Charity. You make it sound like a great learning experience. We all hope to have an experience like yours. Good luck with your book.

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    1. Thanks Natalie. My guess is most experiences are like this. At least I hope so! The few editors that I've met online (Laurel included!) seem to be just like mine in the details. Individuals with a desire to help improve writing!

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  2. Laurel, thank you so much for hosting me today!

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    1. My pleasure. And thanks for keeping up the interactions. Mondays are always super busy at my day job... :-)

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  3. So glad to read this. It makes me want to stand up and do a happy dance. Can't wait to see your next one, Charity!

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    1. I'm working on it now, but it's still too stinky to share with you. :)

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  4. I was worried as well, but I enjoy working with my publisher and editor. First my publisher makes overall suggestions, which pertain more to the storyline, then the editor really gets into the details. The final round of edits happens after the review copies are made. None of it was painful and I made almost all of the changes suggested.

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    1. Me too! See, there are lots of great editors out there that are team players.

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  5. It's definitely nice to have someone guide those edits, though. At least, that's how I feel. Thanks so much for the awesome post!

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  6. Sounded like a great process. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. @SA Larsen and @E Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Wow! You had an impressive editor.

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    1. Yep, Amie McCracken right up there in the comments.

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  9. Amie's my editor, too. Isn't she fantastic to work with?

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