Boss Up: Working with an editor

Editing is an important part of the writing process, but it can be a daunting task for writers. No one writes a perfect first draft and, chances are, your manuscript will require some editing. Working with an editor can help make the process smoother and ensure that the final product is of the highest quality. However, working with an editor can be a difficult process if you don't know how to do it properly. Here are some tips for working with an editor that will make the process easier for both of you.

What type of editor do you need? Good question. There are many different types of editors throughout the publishing world, but whether you intend to self-publish or go the traditional route the following are the main two you should consider.

Developmental Editor

This type of editor can help an author to shape and improve their book proposal, outline, or manuscript by offering feedback and suggestions on plot, structure, pacing, character development, and overall clarity. Developmental editing can be an extremely helpful service for authors who are looking to get their book published, as it can help to improve the chances of their submission being accepted by a publisher.

Copy Editor

A copy editor is a professional who edits text for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style. They also may work to ensure that the text is clear and concise. The copy editor's goal is to make the text as perfect as possible before it goes to publication.

Novel editors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are freelance, while others work for publishing houses. Some specialize in certain genres, while others are generalists. There are those who focus on the text itself and those who focus on the marketing and sale of the book. The type of editor you need depends on the kind of novel you're writing and the stage of development your work is in.

Familiarize Yourself with the Editor's Preferences respect your editor's time

One of the best ways to respect your editor's time is to familiarize yourself with their preferences. Every editor has different preferences when it comes to grammar, punctuation, and style. Make sure you are aware of these preferences before submitting your work. This will help you avoid unnecessary edits and save your editor time.

Additionally, be sure to follow the standard manuscript format. This will make it easier for your editor to read and edit your work. Finally, always proofread your work before submission. A few mistakes can easily be fixed, but they can also delay the editing process if the editor has to fix them themselves.

Follow the Editor's Instructions.

An editor is not there to rewrite your entire manuscript, but to polish it up. Follow the editor's instructions and be prepared to make revisions. The more polished your manuscript, the easier it will be for the editor to do his or her job and the less likely it is that you will have to make major revisions.

Take the meat, throw out the bones.

In order to grow and improve as a writer, it is important to take feedback seriously. However, it is also important to critically analyze the feedback you receive. Not all feedback is accurate or relevant, so it is important to filter out the good from the bad.

When receiving feedback, ask yourself these questions:

Is this feedback valid?

Does this feedback apply to me?

Does this feedback reflect my goals?

What can I do with this feedback?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then the feedback is worth considering. If not, then you may want to discard it. Remember, not everything other people say is correct - so use your best judgment when taking in criticism. Always remember to ask questions if you're unsure. The key to any good working relationship is effective communication.

Working with an editor can be a positive experience that leads to a well-polished and successful piece of writing. By taking the time to find an editor who fits your needs, you can ensure that your work will be improved in a way that works for both you and the editor. In order to get the most out of the editing process, it is important to be communicative and open to feedback.


Editor's Pick 8/01/2022

In this wickedly humorous manual, language columnist June Casagrande uses grammar and syntax to show exactly what makes some sentences great—and other sentences suck.

Great writing isn’t born, it’s built—sentence by sentence. But too many writers—and writing guides—overlook this most important unit. The result? Manuscripts that will never be published and writing careers that will never begin.

With chapters on “Conjunctions That Kill” and “Words Gone Wild,” this lighthearted guide is perfect for anyone who’s dead serious about writing, from aspiring novelists to nonfiction writers, conscientious students to cheeky literati. So roll up your sleeves and prepare to craft one bold, effective sentence after another. Your readers will thank you.


Editor Spotlight

The House of ChickLitGurrl – Site of Creative Evangelist Shonell Bacon

ChickLitGurrl LLC is a creative business that provides writing, editing, and digital content creation services. CLG’s mission to provide these services is tied directly to the African-American proverb “Each one teach one.”

Founder Shonell Bacon knows of the freedom, the joy, and the love of self that comes from participating in creative endeavors, and through CLG, she reaches and teaches others to use their creativity and words to be better writers, communicators, and, ultimately, better versions of themselves. By “being better,” they can feed their minds, bodies, and spirits, thus reflecting creative spirits that will then reach and teach those whom they connect with.

In addition to being the founder of CLG, Shonell is an author, editor, and educator. For the last 20 years, she has had a hand in writing and publishing in multiple genres; editing for indie publishers and individual writers in genres that range from academic to fantasy, from Christian self-help to steamy romances; and developing digital content that helps people organize their lives and complement their original projects.


A More Personal Look at Head Chica in Charge of ChickLitGurrl: Shonell Bacon

Shonell Bacon is a creative evangelist, a woman who enthusiastically speaks on creativity and how we can use it in all facets of our lives to better ourselves and then help to better others. In her own life, Shonell uses her creativity to accomplish an array of things, including:

  • writing fiction and nonfiction,

  • editing various styles of writing for individual writers and independent publishing houses,

  • educating writers on the writing craft,

  • creating digital products that help people stay organized and “planned-up” for their lives, and

  • encouraging and uplifting others through her self-love #HUGSlove posts.


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