Hello, writers. I hope you caught the brilliant and talented Quarkstomper last week on the subject of using RPG templates to develop characters. For most writers it's a matter of trial and error whether and how much you want to plan your characters, but this looks like a cool way to do it.
I've been neck-deep in houseguests and copyedits for Jinx's Fire. The former have left but the latter remain, and are supposed to be done by next Wednesday.
From the writer's standpoint, copyediting is the second to last step in the editing process. The ARCs (advance readers' copies) are usually based on the manuscript as it comes out of the copyediting process, so I'm a little stagefrighty at this point. Even though I'll still have a chance to make final corrections on the proofs, the reviewers will base their reviews on this step of the process, not the final step.
Speaking of edits, I've been seeing a lot of talk lately, out there in the write-o-sphere, about hiring an editor and how to find an editor and much you should pay an editor and so forth. And it kind of bothers me. Because here's the grand total of how much I've ever paid editors: $0.00. And I have the impression a lot of writers aren't aware that that's that's the standard amount.
Unless you're going in for self-publishing. Then you should hire an editor, because you want some other eyeballs than your own going over the manuscript before you expose it to the world. And in that case my advice for hiring an editor would be:
1. Get it spelled out clearly in advance what kind of editing you're getting and how much you're paying for it.
2. Find out whether this price includes the editor taking a second look at your manuscript after you've incorporated her suggestions.
3. Hire an editor who has been an editor. Ideally, hire one who's worked at a publisher that publishes the kind of book you've written, and has experience editing in your genre.
Does anyone who has hired an editor have any helpful advice about this?
The above isn't what bothers me, though. Hiring an editor makes perfect sense if you're self-pubbing. What bothers me is the notion that writers should now hire an editor before they submit their work to an agent or publisher.
That's just one more expense for the writer, and I don't see the sense in it. Unless you only plan to write one book, you'll need to develop the ability to edit your own stuff to the point where it's good enough to submit. You can't be hiring an editor every time-- it costs too much and takes too long.
There are a bunch of books on this topic-- the only one I have is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Brown and Dave King.
Does anyone have any others that they'd recommend?
Oh dear. The above rant looks like it should end with “and get off my lawn!” It's just rereading Jinx's Fire for the 400th time, and catching things that I didn't notice on the 399th read, has made me realize again how essential revising and self-editing are to the process.
One thing I'm catching at this late stage is sentences or thoughts that seem completely unconnected to the things that come before or after them. Ideas that drop from the sky. Characters that pop up out of the floor to say something after two pages of uncharacteristic silence. (No way would Simon sit there and listen quietly for two pages.)
In the spirit of which, tonight challenge is to connect two unconnected sentences.
Write anything you want. But try to limit yourself to 100 words. And incorporate these two sentences:
It must have been sometime in July.
Actually, he fell off a moose.
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