Your choice of an editor is as important as your choice of words for your manuscript. Your editor will be your partner in developing your article or story for a week, month, the next year or possibly longer.
Every manuscript should be edited by someone who has training and experience in the field in which your manuscript is written. Friends and family may be wonderful readers, but they cannot give your manuscript the polish it needs for publication. No one is perfect. Every work needs a fresh eye.
You should prepare your manuscript in the best condition it can possibly be before you present it to an editor. This preparation will save you and your editor aggravation, time and money. If you are new at writing, or even if you are not, I suggest:
Join a critique group such as Critique Circle or Scribophile. These are sites in which to hone your skills and your manuscript.
Save your original manuscript and back it up.
Put away your manuscript for at least three months before editing it yourself. Your final edit should be a paper copy, as eyes read paper differently than they do the screen.
Be prepared with a chapter outline, a synopsis and a short statement of your theme. Memorize your “pitch,” which should take no more than a minute.
You may want to have one or more beta readers read your manuscript. These can be found either on line or they may be discerning friends whom you trust to be forthright in their opinions of your writing. You may want to give them a list of questions you want them to be aware of while they read, such as whether they believe the characters engage them, behave consistently or, if they lost interest, where.
Now you are ready for an editor.
Two good resources are: The National Association of Independent Writers & Editors (www.naiwe.com/find/index.php) and Editorial Freelancers Association (www.the-efa.org). Be sure the editor is interested in your topic.
As your copyeditor, I will check your final copy for consistency, grammar, misspellings, missing words, sentence structure and other important details.
I will be happy to edit a short section of your novel, short story or article at no cost, to give you a sample of what I can do for you.
At the same time, I will not change your particular style. I will be aware that your voice must be retained.
As a writer, I understand and respect how you feel about your manuscript. Before considering revisions, I read every manuscript entirely to get a feel for each author’s particular voice and style.
I will edit by the hour, page or word, whichever is most convenient. How you wish to work is best decided together after I have seen a sample of your work and you have seen a sample of what I can do for you. Much will depend upon your situation and how well your manuscript is prepared before editing.
My education and experience:
I have a B.S. in Education from Kent State University, and have edited numerous theses, legal and technical documents.
I have written articles and biographies for a Native American gallery web site and have ghost-written published articles.
For the past six years I have studied and learned the elements of excellent fiction. I have critiqued on Critique Circle for over seven years and am often starred.
I have completed a course in copyediting.
I am a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
Contact my at my email: email@example.com
Thank you Karen. Like most nonfiction writers, I had no idea what I was walking into when I began a fiction piece. My first hurdle? POV. Then came format, tense agreement, inner thoughts, backstory, etc., etc., etc.
Thank you for critiquing my story, “Clear! Seven Theories of Space”.
Ah HA! Now HERE’S a critique I can sink my teeth into. Gorgeous, insightful, thorough, clear, and helpful. You’ve done real work on a difficult read. I am most grateful. I’ve read it twice through but I’m sure I’ll have questions for you if you’re willing. Nice to have a piece taken seriously, read through to the end, and understood.
I’ve worked on “Clear!” today and continue to marvel at your insight. Just can’t tell you how much I appreciate your frank and clear critique. Says a great deal about your grasp and mastery of the craft.
Through the whole process Karen was kind and neutral to my work. She never judged or criticized my manuscript. She only gave me better word choices among the editing she did to strengthen my story. Any suggestions that she did give, she always explained why, but in the end, it was always my decision to make the change or not.
Being a newbie to self-publishing I really did appreciate the calmness and professionalism Karen brought to our collaboration. And, though she didn’t have to, she guided me to a wealth of websites to help me on my journey.
It was a great experience and a pleasure working with Karen.