Ethics, Revisions and the Search for an Editor…

There are times where my writing runs head-on with my blogging.

By writing I mean work on my novel. Presently, my novel, “The House” due out this summer is back from the copy editor, Shon Bacon.

Once I make all the suggested changes I will forward the manuscript back to the developmental editor with whom I worked while revising and editing my novel, for  one more read through.

My developmental editor, Yvonne Perry, has read has read the story of “The House” more times than I care to admit.

The process of refining and editing my novel while working with Yvonne, took over year. I learned much during this time from Yvonne and from myself in following through on her suggestions.

That she has done so speaks to the high quality of her work and the depth to which I trust her opinion.

Finding an editor with whom you can work is imperative when you set out to write any novel or collection of stories that you will make available for public consumption, particularly if you going to charge.

The publication of my collection of short stories, Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident” provided a wonderful experience of how much we writers can learn from editors. Myriad of stories exist and run the gambit through writing circles about the editor from hell.

To be sure, many editors exist who either misrepresent their scope of operation, limits to their skills, or that they are even editors.

Many editors are frustrated writers who, like many who want to experience the supposed glory of having written a novel, but are not willing to put in the required time and work.

A copy editor is clearly out of line when trying to re-write a client’s story through the guise of suggesting edits that sound more like a command.

The main responsibility of a copy editor is ensuring correct usage of grammar and highlighting and/or eliminating typos.

Offering suggestions of how you, the writer, can re-plot your story steps way beyond the purpose of a copy editor or their responsibility.

Even if the copy editor has skills and talents at developmental editing, if the contract into which they enter with  a writer calls for copy editing, then that is the job there have agreed to provide.

Should they begin reading the manuscript and detect that the structure of the story make reading the story confusing, their job is to return the manuscript to the writer and say, “I would love to copy edit your novel, but to do so would be unethical. Your novel needs further revision and refinement to become a clear and pleasurable read.  I’m available once you’ve improved the structure.Until then it would not be fair to take your money.”

They may then suggest the names of some good developmental editors with whom they have no financial relationship.

If I were editor I would tread very carefully at this point making it clear that I gain nothing by referring you to the developmental editor.

Financial success in what ever the profession results from repeat business.

Lists of disreputable professionals abound on the Internet.

Preditors and Editors is one such list.

I would image that getting one’s name expunged from one such list proves difficult.

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~ by Anjuelle Floyd on April 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “Ethics, Revisions and the Search for an Editor…”

  1. I’ve been reading this blog post with great interest, dear Anjuelle! 🙂

    You may have noted on my Facebook fan page, or generally at Haplif & Haplifnet, that I had edited a book (Designer Fashion Guide) written by a female Greek author who lives in Germany, several years ago, which is still on the market at Amazon.de, etc.

    My involvement was – considering that we’re friends – quite different. I did all the work you described and, in addition, I sponsored its printing and market promotion. It had been quite expensive. And revenues were not high enough to cover the costs caused. After all, financially, a great loss, but, mentally, a tremendous benefit. 🙂

    CU, Frank

    • This is often what it takes to ensure our work and those of the people we care for, as was your case, gets made available for public consumption, and presented in a manner of which we can feel proud and that entertains and engages consumers. Publishing companies have done it in times past, and we self-publishers are asked to do the same.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

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