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Forum: Editors/Reviewers Hangout

Trials of hiring a professional editor

Crumbly Writer

Just curious, did any of the local editors follow the discussion in the "Author's" forum about editing (where I detailed hiring a professional, only to have everyone tell me she stripped my story of it's soul (my writing style))?

I know we have at least one editor in those discussions, but I was wondering whether the rest of you would have an opinion in the topic?

Replies:   richardshagrin
bondsman

I've followed it to some degree. My impression, trying to be fair to both of you, is that there wasn't enough communication about what you were looking for before you plunked your money down. I'm using "communication" in a very narrow definition of the word here, that being that there was understanding as well as words passing back and forth.

I don't think you've mentioned the preliminaries of your dealing with her so it's difficult to tell what happened. I think it's quite obvious that you didn't get what you thought you were paying for. I also have the impression that this was a "one and done" thing. You sent the manuscript, she marked it up and sent it back. Done!

"Editor" to the end - I think you meant "...would have an opinion on the topic?" :)

Switch Blayde

@bondsman

wasn't enough communication about what you were looking for


I had thought the same thing. I assume the objectives were not laid out.

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

If editors didn't need to read stuff written by authors, they could be CPAs or something that paid real money. My theory is that the editors and reviewers read every post on the Author's Hangout. They/we can't help it.

I wonder if editors would agree Reviewers are a kind of Editor? Not so much to help the author but to help readers. We point out good things and sometimes things that might have been done better and often give advice, if not to the writer, to the potential reader. At least ones with tastes that are similar to our own. Once in a while a well constructed review might help the author of the story. What comes after a beta reader? Sometimes, a reviewer.

Crumbly Writer

@bondsman

I don't think you've mentioned the preliminaries of your dealing with her so it's difficult to tell what happened. I think it's quite obvious that you didn't get what you thought you were paying for. I also have the impression that this was a "one and done" thing. You sent the manuscript, she marked it up and sent it back. Done!

That was my opinion, and frankly, I was shocked when she simply went off on her own. We'd talked when I first had her provide a sample edit (almost two years ago), where I laid out what I was looking for. But this time, once I sent her the story, there was no communication.

Does an author really need to ask "Please don't butcher my story?"

I was initially pleased with the results, but then I got the feedback from the other authors here (expressing the wouldn't even read the edited version). Then I began noticing all the errors, not just in the text itself, but also in her analysis and objections to what I'd written.

richard Shagrin, you're right about the role of reviewer. In a traditionally published story, you get no feedback on how well a story succeeds, or where it fails (from a reader's perspective). Instead you're left in the dark. Even if you self-publish, you almost never hear from those who purchase your stories.

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