I don't know how you chose her, but personal recommendation is usually a better way than picking one out of a phone book.
Awnlee, that's the process I used. I asked a group of writers on a LinkedIn forum who they recommended. Out of the top three suggestions, I had each do a sample edit, and she had both the most changes and the best ones.
To be on the fair side, though, I specifically asked her to cut my word count back as much as possible, so I could learn how to self-edit myself (since my editors never removed text, just point out typos and logic errors).
Still, her going off into left field and modifying my personal writing style was a bit over the top.
What's a phone book?
Funkso, its books you read on your smartphone. 'D
The editing process often begins with the author's idea of the work itself, continuing as a collaboration between the author and the editor as the work is created.
Zom, that doesn't mean they write the story in their own voice, only that they make suggestions about content.
And it's a shame too, because (again my opinion) this is the best piece I've read from CW.
Thank you, Chris. The reason why it's taken me so long between books (a full year) is that I've been revising my writing substantially during that process. Instead of trying to cut my word count down during the revision process (when I add new story elements), I've learned to write more concise stories. Out of the 4 stories I now have ready (I wrote a lot waiting for the seven months it took for the editor to get to it and finish it) my word count went from 100,000 words to 87,000 (this book), 64,000 and my latest one is only 56,000 (I don't dare submit it to an editor for fear they cut it down to only a short story!).
My next story (and the next to be published on SOL in a couple months) is problematic for the reasons discussed concerning prologues. The first four chapters are all back story, but I couldn't figure out how to eliminate it without destroying the story. I was ready to dump it when my beta readers recommended I publish it anyway.
I'm making progress, mainly because I've been paying attention to how people respond.
By the way, which "variation to the dialogue" did you have issues with?
One thing I haven't noticed you saying is whether the editor offered either suggestions or changes that added content to the story. Did she have any of those, or was it all hack and slash?
Chris, despite being a Content Editor, she had few structural changes, though as I said, she recommended eliminating a full chapter and stripping out what I'd intended as a major subplot. Changes I now agree with, as they echo what my other editors said. She also fact checked several quotes from other authors I'd included in the story, picking up several major problems. But then, I only got as far as the third chapter of her edit (not including this prologue).
I would be interested to know if you would be confident in restating that as 'I have yet to meet or talk to an editor who doesn't proofread well'.
Zom, she specifically told me I should run her version through a proofreader, as it's hard to proofread while you're doing content changes (Boy, did she ever!). However, after paying that much, being told you need to hire yet another professional to clean up her errors wasn't appreciated!
I, for one, would really like to know the name of the editor to help me avoid her.
Zen Master, I'm not afraid to admit when someone screwed up. I still consider her a decent editor, but if you work with her, insist she communicate with her while she works!!!
Her name is Averill Buchanan. As you guessed, she's a Brit.
But when the editor makes a major hack and slash, like the one CW hired, does a job like that, you have to wonder about what they're using for their guidelines and where they expect the story will be sold to.
Ernest, she used to work for one of the major publishers (I forget which). She insisted, earlier, that she follows a particular Style Guide (after commenting about my lack of serial commas), so I'm assuming it's the one her previous publishing firm insisted she use.
OK, so as I posed above, how far, then, does a collaborative editor have to get into the authorship of a story to start being considered a co-author?
Zom, when they add their own content to the story. In this case, despite what she did to my 'voice', I still consider her an editor because she was cutting the text down to size, not writing entire sections of the plot.
I don't want to speak for CW, but I believe he was looking for more than an editor. He was willing to invest in her as a learning experience. We don't know how much latitude CW gave the editor. CW, can you elaborate?
Switch, as I specified earlier, I asked her to cut as much as possible, just so I could learn how she went about it. I'm assuming she took that to mean combining multiple paragraphs into single paragraphs, and cutting anything that wasn't essential to the bare plot.
Also, they (editors in general) suggest you contact Content Editors both before you write the story and after it's completed, the first to point out major mistakes in the basic plot, and the latter to identify what you did wrong. However, I doubt many authors do that, aside from the best selling authors at a major publishing firm (where the publishing is free!)
One important thing to keep in mind is the differences between presentations affect what you see, and how easy it is to see. Most authors at SOL write the stories in a word processing program of some sort, this is true of most authors anywhere.
Ernest, that's why I never accept finished edits (except this last time!). Instead, I take the changes the editors recommend and make them on my Master file, just so the formatting of the chapter doesn't get screwed up!
However, in most cases, when you copy text from one WORD file to another, the changes are adopted to the STYLEs defined in the current document. As long as they use the same Styles, you should be fine. (However, this editor didn't use ANY styles, including the "Normal" style, so I had to manually assign everything to one of my existing styles).
Whew! I opened a can of worms with this addition, in more ways than one. That's a lot of responses all in one pass. Back to work. During church today, I suddenly realized how to improve my latest story, so I revised the first chapter, making substantial changes 2 days before the final version can be submitted to Amazon before the final publication! Luckily, the new version is much better than the original. When you're on a productivity roll, things flow much more smoothly (as opposed to "smoother").