Sunday, August 21, 2016

Follow up – Realistic expectations for a content editor… #mgtab

As promised, I’m here to give you the final verdict in my content edit that I had done for my newest book. I finished the work earlier today and I’m still gritting my teeth.

Did you read my first post? If not, see the link above. Then you’ll know that this editor totally had me reeling from her caustic comments, her dissing of my characters and basically just not getting the whole context of my story.  

As I continued following her edits and reading her continuous sideline blurbs, it finally dawned on me that the poor girl had no idea where my characters were coming from and what they were all about, nor did she get the story.

You know those light-bulb moments one gets when stupidity is replaced with a tiny sprinkling of intelligence. It happened to me and I literally smacked my forehead in self-recrimination. How could I have been so remiss?

Because I had been so miffed about being rejected from the publisher I’d set my heart on, I’d turned for sympathy to another author I hold in high esteem. When she told me she’d been so happy with her content edit from this particular editor, I jumped on her suggestion that I write to this person and see if she would have time for my work.

Hint number one – if she was that great, how come she had an empty schedule and could take my work immediately.

Mistake number two – my friend is a very successful writer of Urban Fantasy which is a far cry from Romantic Suspense.

And the worst error of all – my colleague told me this editor was also a writer and I never took the time to see what she wrote and whether or not, I even liked her style or her voice.

Now that I’d finally surfaced from my self-pitying daze, I did the homework I should have done before hiring her. I would have saved myself this grief. I looked her up on Amazon and it turns out, she’s a YA author with a few books written and no sales to speak of.

By this time, my leg is sore from trying to kick my own ass. 

What was I thinking? Of course the poor girl didn’t appreciate my story. It’s so far from what she loves and writes that I’m surprised she accepted my work in the first place.

When I delved into the first few chapters of her work, I dozed off. By the time I’m at that point in my books, I’ve already killed someone off, had the two main characters meet and sparks ignite and if a conflict hadn’t already exploded, it wouldn’t be long.

So, what I’m trying to say here in my own Mimi way is this. I deserved to have this experience. I’d never have hired her if I’d have done my homework in the first place. I shared this with you because I hoped you’d learn from my mistakes.

In the end, all was not lost. She helped me see weak writing when she didn’t understand why I’d set things in motion the way I had. I fixed those spots, made them better… stronger. She pointed out places where she wanted more romance and I worked harder to develop those scenes. And, because she really labored over my book—I’m talking every line—I owe her a huge thank you for trying so very hard to do the best she could. 

In the end, she was the professional.

But… next time I won’t get caught with my pants down :-)


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  1. I' sorry you had to experience such an ordeal. All the best in your revising.
    Shalom aleichem,

    1. Thanks Pat - I guess this the old saying can apply here - "live and learn" :-)

  2. I'm surprised she didn't offer to do a "free" sample edit on the first chapter for you. My latest and best editor I've ever hired did that and I immediately saw what she could add/delete from the book. She was my third editor and I've learned from bad edits in the past that a little due diligence on our part goes a long way to a satisfying edit.

    1. You are so right, Debra. From now on I will certainly be more careful. I have two wonderful line editors and a fabulous proofreader. I guess I've been spoiled and got caught - again. This also happened to me a long time ago with another line editor. Messed up my manuscript beyond what I could use, left me late to release my book cause she didn't get it back to me when promised and earned me a few one star reviews for my troubles....grrr!!
      The life of a busy author is never dull LOL!!