Feeling Thankful for Editors

Time out at my niece's farm
By Val
@valmnz (12573)
New Zealand
May 22, 2016 4:36pm CST
Isn't it funny how, when we know no better, we think how clever all those published authors are to produce writing that flows so easily. Sadly, for most, that is not the case. I now know that much of the success for published writing comes from the clever skill of editors. They know how to take a clumsy piece of work, whether it's simply a sentence, a paragraph, or even a whole chapter, and suggest ways to make it read more easily. Some of you know I received a small grant last year, toward editing and publishing my latest research work. Although I'm still in the early stages of my book, I'm feeling thankful for my amazing editor. Last week she suggested I combine three chapter into two, which has meant considerable rewriting. At first I resisted, but eventually I came around to her way of thinking. I'm glad I did. The resulting two chapters are much better and I'm feeling satisfied. It really does seem like a case of three steps forward and one backward though.
21 people like this
24 responses
@Platespinner (18055)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 May 16
A good editor is invaluable...my youngest daughter is my editor of choice. She isn't always very sensitive in how she points out problems (which has gotten her into a heap of trouble with some of her friends who want to become writers) but when I've had her check stuff for me she is usually spot on in her suggestions (of course she IS my daughter and I'm probably a tad biased...)
3 people like this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
22 May 16
My husband is actually good at picking up things that halt the flow of the writing for hm as a reader. And if it dos that for him, it could well do for other readers as well
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
23 May 16
@valmnz It's handy to have family members that can and do spot things like that, isn't it!
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
@Platespinner Sure is!
@LoriAMoore (9542)
• United States
22 May 16
Editors are wonderful. What is the subject of your research?
3 people like this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
22 May 16
A local social history of the story of the old swimming baths here, in existence between 1917 and 1966. This is a wonderful journey I'm taking, but a huge learning curve.
2 people like this
@xFiacre (10364)
• Ireland
22 May 16
@valmnz It all sounds like so much hard work. I'll just stick to Mylot. On Saturday however I'm going on a day retreat for would be writers.
3 people like this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
22 May 16
I'm glad you haven't done that yet, I was wondering if I might have missed it during my absence. yes, this book is far more hard work than the first, simply because it's a different kind of writing from what I'm used to doing.
4 people like this
@Inlemay (17323)
• South Africa
23 May 16
that is great - if you take those steps into three steps forward ball change one back, then you are dancing
2 people like this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
Like it
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17323)
• South Africa
24 May 16
@valmnz then dance for the editor and produce a Wonderful Book
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
24 May 16
@Inlemay yeds mam!
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (11407)
• Germany
23 May 16
I think it is good to have extra pairs of eyes to see the mistakes of what we are writing. Good editor is of great help when you write a book.
2 people like this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
Necessary I'd say, especially when you see the poor quality of some e-books published these days.
• Eugene, Oregon
23 May 16
And it is possible that your three chapters were fine. Editing can be no more than an educated opinion.
2 people like this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
They were passable, but it all reads much better now.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8119)
• United States
22 May 16
A lot depends on what the author wants or needs the editor to do. Sometimes you might just need a basic edits that checks for punctuation, spelling errors, etc. In my experience I just want the basics without the editor telling me to rewrite parts. Of course fiction and non-fiction have their differences so I can see why a rewrite may be necessary for non-fiction.
2 people like this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
22 May 16
Yes, I needed someone who understood local history , she's acting as a mentor as well.
@just4him (88755)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
22 May 16
I've been very happy for the extra set of eyes on my work as I get Scarred ready for the second edition. However, I got an e-mail from him informing me he won't be able to help me anymore. I'm grateful for the help he has given me, and I'm sure that the simple mistakes I've made I can take care of on my own for the last 18 chapters I have to go on it.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
22 May 16
That fine tuning from someone else really does help. I've learned a lot in the process too, so my writing is definitely improving.
1 person likes this
@just4him (88755)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
23 May 16
@valmnz I know what to look for, since it always seemed to be the same mistakes I made.
1 person likes this
@Jackalyn (6646)
• Oxford, England
23 May 16
Talk to me if you are up for an edit exchange?
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (49988)
• United Kingdom
22 May 16
I've never really thought about the role of editor. If I'd thought about it at all I would have assumed that they just checked the spelling and grammar.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
22 May 16
Since starting this I've learned there are two kinds of editors, ideally you can afford both! One makes sure the content is correct, has a logical flow,checks facts etc, important in non-fiction, historical fiction and such. The second then edits the spelling, grammar etc at the end, before publication.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (49988)
• United Kingdom
23 May 16
@valmnz That's interesting to know, thanks Val.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (113972)
• Boise, Idaho
22 May 16
Good editing is important. I think it is important for a writer to get another person's view on your work. Three steps forward and one back now is a lot better than a big rewrite and not getting published.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
Which is why I'm getting it edited as I go, decade by decade!
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (113972)
• Boise, Idaho
24 May 16
@valmnz ....There ya go.
@Tampa_girl7 (21253)
• United States
24 May 16
That's wonderful that you have a good editor.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
24 May 16
She certainly knows what she is doing!
• Austin, Texas
23 May 16
My first attempt at freelance writing was reviewed by the site's editor. Point 1. She didn't tell me the article was unusable, which gave me hope. Point 2. She offered some really good pointers to help me improve its presentation. When I followed her advice and made the changes, I surprised myself! Why the surprise? Because I knew what the article looked like PRE-edit and the thoughts and ideas to make changes and improvement definitely did NOT come out of my head! The POST-edit final published article would not have happened without her. God bless good editors.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
Exactly! They know what they are doing. Our job is to write as best we can.
1 person likes this
• China
23 May 16
Oh,you lead a very full life after retirement. I reckon this is exactly what gives an editor an edge over a writer.Mybe we can compare an editor to a film's director in a way.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
correct. It takes more than just the writer to produce a quality book.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
23 May 16
I recently edited a book for a friend and I know that I made it a lot better than it would have been. I'm keen to do more editing work. However, she was the perfect person to work with as she took every single suggestion and ran with it - no resistance, no fighting.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
Editing is a great skill to have. I help a friend and editing my own work has definitely improved. I'm working in a new to me field at the moment, so need my editors help!
@Jackalyn (6646)
• Oxford, England
23 May 16
You got a grant for editing. I an interested. I so know I need an editor and cannot afford one. I am off to research this!
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
I won a local literature and history grant that we have in our community.
• United States
23 May 16
i'm so glad that'cha found'ja a great editor - they're worth their weight'n pure gold! i'd a brilliant one also, many eons 'go. sadly she's passed'n, i've yet to find a new'un. prolly coz i tend to dribble funny, lol.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
I think mine needs a lot of patience to sort me out too!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (96294)
• Bunbury, Australia
23 May 16
I'm sure you are enjoying this process although it might be a lot of work.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
It certainly is. If I'd known what I was in for I may not have started! However, most of the time I enjoy it
1 person likes this
@allknowing (55067)
• India
23 May 16
You are right. We think we know everything until someone in authority points it out to us and says that we need to improve.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
and oh boy, do I need some improvement!!!
@DianneN (57246)
• United States
23 May 16
Editors, especially good ones, can be so helpful. Thumbs up to you, too!
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
Thanks. It's a wonderful learning curve.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (30981)
• Portland, Connecticut
23 May 16
A good editor can make or break a work and it seems that you have drawn a great one. I am glad you are working well together and are satisfied with the direction your work is going.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
23 May 16
I have indeed. She was recommended to me by another editor, who was going to do the job, but became unwell.
1 person likes this