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Old 07-22-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
Lloyd Tackitt
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When the manuscript comes back from the editor?

When your manuscript comes back from the editor...

I received my manuscript back from my editor yesterday, and have been steadily going through it.

How do you work on yours when you get it back? Do you go through it edit point by edit point and determine whether to accept the changes or decline them one at a time? That's what I am doing. Then I plan to go over the whole thing again with a fast read through, then once more slowly sentence by sentence. It's how I did the first book.

Are there other ways that work?

Just asking...
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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You should always go through it point by point as if you don't you will not learn anything. I doubt whether you would be likely to have any valid reason to reject edits unless you have a very incompetent editor. I have not read much of your book, little more than the sample, but I would assess you as being able to tell an interesting story, but not able to express it well in writing. You make a tremendous number of basic mistakes. For instance, you continually use that instead of who, which instead of that, clumsy sentence structure etc. You have errors in POV, words missing from sentences, basically you are a writer who can really use the services of a good editor. You should try to learn from whoever is editing your work.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:51 PM   #3
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I haven't got mine back yet Maybe it's so super awesome I don't have to do anything else, lol. Though I already spent the money, so when it does come back I'll do my best to make it wunderbar.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:46 AM   #4
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You should always go through it point by point as if you don't you will not learn anything. I doubt whether you would be likely to have any valid reason to reject edits unless you have a very incompetent editor. I have not read much of your book, little more than the sample, but I would assess you as being able to tell an interesting story, but not able to express it well in writing. You make a tremendous number of basic mistakes. For instance, you continually use that instead of who, which instead of that, clumsy sentence structure etc. You have errors in POV, words missing from sentences, basically you are a writer who can really use the services of a good editor. You should try to learn from whoever is editing your work.
Thank you.

My editor makes a wide variety of comments. I generally accept the grammar and puncuation edits as I suck at those and know it. But I parse over his other comments and use about half of them. Story telling isn't, in my mind, so much about rules as it is in holding the reader's interest.

Writing rules are good to know, but then again rules tend to get in the way. The rules of writing are limiting. Working with arbitrary restrictions doesn't appeal to me, and writing rules are arbitrary, perhaps generally accepted but still arbitrary. Is it better to spin an interesting yarn or to get a good grade from the rules mavens? Doing both at the same time would be great, but perhaps too high a bar for me. That's ok, I can live with it.

On the other hand I have written quite a lot over the past few years for public consumption, and the feedback has been excellent. I have many fans that enjoy my writing. More by far than critics, regardless of my wandering outside the rules.

My question though, in short form is, how do you go about the editing process when the ms comes back. What is it that you do? There may only be one way, but I'm curious how others do it in case there are tips and techniques I'm not aware of.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:52 AM   #5
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I haven't got mine back yet Maybe it's so super awesome I don't have to do anything else, lol. Though I already spent the money, so when it does come back I'll do my best to make it wunderbar.
Hold on to your hat! The first time I got one back it looked like someone had been murdered on it, blood was everywhere. Ok, the second time too.

I suppose from my limited experience this to be normal. Or it could be that I need a lot more help than others.

I will say that it didn't bother me in an ego kind of way to have that many errors pointed out in such a clinical way - it's what I requested and paid for.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Tackitt View Post
Writing rules are good to know, but then again rules tend to get in the way. The rules of writing are limiting. Working with arbitrary restrictions doesn't appeal to me, and writing rules are arbitrary, perhaps generally accepted but still arbitrary. Is it better to spin an interesting yarn or to get a good grade from the rules mavens? Doing both at the same time would be great, but perhaps too high a bar for me. That's ok, I can live with it.

On the other hand I have written quite a lot over the past few years for public consumption, and the feedback has been excellent. I have many fans that enjoy my writing. More by far than critics, regardless of my wandering outside the rules.

My question though, in short form is, how do you go about the editing process when the ms comes back. What is it that you do? There may only be one way, but I'm curious how others do it in case there are tips and techniques I'm not aware of.
Writing rules are not arbitary, any more than traffic rules are. There may be times when you need to break them, but ignoring them for the sake of "holding the reader's interest" is like driving carelessly because the road is supposed to be interesting.

If this editor is someone you have hired, you are free to reject her edits. But if it's an editor from a publishing house and you reject the edits, you'll find the publisher rejects your book. Publishers are interested in books with a certain standard of English, and won't accept "rules get in the way" as an excuse for why you haven't made the edits that were marked.

I've never had anyone come up and tell me that I have grammer or word use issues, unless I asked them directly. But you'd better believe that when my publisher's editor was through with it, my MS was buried under a bloodbath of red tracker comments of things she expected to be fixed.

Theren is no point having an editor if you don't allow her to edit.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:32 AM   #7
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When I get mine back, I read it point for point, and so does my wife (who does the first pass of my edits before we send it off to professional editor).

If its clear cut grammar, syntax, or the like, I just accept it.

If its "Why would Billy Bob do this, it does not seem to fit what the reader would expect here?" then I have to make a call. Was confusion at the point my intention? If so, then I am not going to change it, if not then yeah... needs work.

So it just depends. I am self-pub so I can choose or not choose what I want to do, and my fans will be the judge of my choices, not a publisher. This gives me more leeway to hang myself.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:43 AM   #8
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Writing rules are not arbitary, any more than traffic rules are. There may be times when you need to break them, but ignoring them for the sake of "holding the reader's interest" is like driving carelessly because the road is supposed to be interesting.

If this editor is someone you have hired, you are free to reject her edits. But if it's an editor from a publishing house and you reject the edits, you'll find the publisher rejects your book. Publishers are interested in books with a certain standard of English, and won't accept "rules get in the way" as an excuse for why you haven't made the edits that were marked.

I've never had anyone come up and tell me that I have grammer or word use issues, unless I asked them directly. But you'd better believe that when my publisher's editor was through with it, my MS was buried under a bloodbath of red tracker comments of things she expected to be fixed.

Theren is no point having an editor if you don't allow her to edit.
Perhaps we should start a new thread on this, it's a bit off-topic and somewhat philosophical in nature. But...

I beg to differ, writing rules are general conventions that have become imbedded over time, changing and evolving as they go. Today's rules will not be tomorrow's. They are culturally driven. They were not passed down from a divinity on a stone tablet. If I veer outside the rules the worst I can expect is to be ignored, not killed. Road rules on the other hand, if ignored, can lead to a brutal real-world death.

Perhaps a closer analogy would be to compare writing rules to dining etiquette. If I break with proper dining etiquette I may not be invited back to dine, but I won't be harmed in any other way.

For example. My first book has been in or very near the top 1,000 kindle paid for listing for four months and it has been for sale only four months. That puts it in the top .001 percent of sold kindle books, that's not too bad considering it is competing against a million other books, literally.

It has consistently been in the lower 30's in the category of paid kindle fiction/action-adventure. That's not a narrow niche, it's a broad category. From that I think it is fairly safe to infer that however poorly I may have adhered to the rules, readers enjoy reading it. Wouldn't that be my goal?

This book is self published so I am free to regard or disregard my editor's suggestions as I see fit. I assume you are correct about traditional publishing editors, but I have no experience there.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:58 AM   #9
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When I get mine back, I read it point for point, and so does my wife (who does the first pass of my edits before we send it off to professional editor).

If its clear cut grammar, syntax, or the like, I just accept it.

If its "Why would Billy Bob do this, it does not seem to fit what the reader would expect here?" then I have to make a call. Was confusion at the point my intention? If so, then I am not going to change it, if not then yeah... needs work.

So it just depends. I am self-pub so I can choose or not choose what I want to do, and my fans will be the judge of my choices, not a publisher. This gives me more leeway to hang myself.
That's pretty much what I do as well. Do you do anything else after that?
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
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I doubt whether you would be likely to have any valid reason to reject edits unless you have a very incompetent editor.
I used an American editor for my skinhead romance (set in England). While I did act on most of them, and did learn a lot from the experience, a few I thought were just down to cultural or language differences. I also ignored the suggestions to tone down the violence and swearing.

The easy ones I did in order, the ones that needed a bit of a re-write I left until last. Then I left it for a month before having another read through. I think I changed a few of the edits back to what they were originally after that because it didn't read right to me.

Bottom line, the writer should have the final say.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
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That's pretty much what I do as well. Do you do anything else after that?
Yes, usually I do at least 2 more passes myself through the book to make sure all the edits did not change feel and flow. After that I let it go, and move on.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:14 AM   #12
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I used an American editor for my skinhead romance (set in England). While I did act on most of them, and did learn a lot from the experience, a few I thought were just down to cultural or language differences. I also ignored the suggestions to tone down the violence and swearing.

The easy ones I did in order, the ones that needed a bit of a re-write I left until last. Then I left it for a month before having another read through. I think I changed a few of the edits back to what they were originally after that because it didn't read right to me.

Bottom line, the writer should have the final say.
Coincidentally, and conversely, I use an English editor. I warned him that I speak, and tend to write, with a Texas dialect. It makes for some pretty interesting comments back and forth which I enjoy. I debated using an American editor on the second book, but decided to stick with the one I had because there is a certain enrichment the book gets from that other world view point. It makes for some quirky sentences that I like. I do get some feedback about strange sentence structure in the reviews. When you blend continental english with Texan it can be fun.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:15 AM   #13
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Thank you.

My editor makes a wide variety of comments. I generally accept the grammar and puncuation edits as I suck at those and know it. But I parse over his other comments and use about half of them. Story telling isn't, in my mind, so much about rules as it is in holding the reader's interest.

Writing rules are good to know, but then again rules tend to get in the way. The rules of writing are limiting. Working with arbitrary restrictions doesn't appeal to me, and writing rules are arbitrary, perhaps generally accepted but still arbitrary. Is it better to spin an interesting yarn or to get a good grade from the rules mavens? Doing both at the same time would be great, but perhaps too high a bar for me. That's ok, I can live with it.
Your plot and your characters are what should hold the reader's interest, not your grammar, good or bad. While good grammar does not get in the way of story telling, bad grammar can get in the way of reader appreciation. Some readers will not notice poor command of language, while others will find that it detracts from their enjoyment of the story. If you ignore grammar you will be limiting your audience - why do that? Your grammar does not have to be perfect, (many bestselling writers do not have perfect grammar) but you could try not to make the very basic errors that you are currently making.

Take notice of what your editor says, don't just include the edits, note what they are, make sure that you understand why the change is required and try not to make the same mistake in future. Doing this can only improve your writing, help you learn your craft and allow you to become a skilled artisan.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:18 AM   #14
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Yes, usually I do at least 2 more passes myself through the book to make sure all the edits did not change feel and flow. After that I let it go, and move on.
Letting it go and moving on is a good way of putting it. I could, and would, continue to rewrite for years except that I think at some point that becomes a pointless exercise when the goal is to get the book on the market. Diminishing returns so to speak. Still, it's a scary feeling to finally let go of it.
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